One of things that has always interested me is the idea of a living on a commune. Now, before you judge, let me just clarify: I'm not talking Timothy McVae, give all of your money to a leader, plan to overthrow the government, drink the Kool-Aid, slaughter a goat kind of place. I am talking about a shared community that features individual housing with shared resources and a shared vision (garden, child care, vehicles, meals, green ideals, etc).
In truth, I haven't done much about the idea (just mostly told a few friends who laughed). But tonight, rather than just think about it, I actually did some research and apparently I have quite a bit to learn. There are intentional living communities, co-housing communities, simple living communities, sustainable living communities, and a bunch of other "living" communities I have yet to wrap my brain around.
In one community called Dancing Rabbit, they build their own houses, live off the land, and share three cars among 30 people (probably too earthy crunchy for my tastes, but I'd love to check it out). In another, Westwood Cohousing, they have manufactured homes with a community center, garden area, and home owners fees (more traditional, but maybe not earthy crunchy enough).
As I was reading through different sites, two of my biggest concerns were: 1) How do they handle conflict? and 2)What do I do if I hate my neighbors? All of the sites have a lot to say about Consensus Building and Decision Making. Few have anything to say about what happens when life turns into a Lost episode and Sawyer steals the last can of Pork and Beans.
Overall, if I had to define my dream community, it would look something like this:
-A place where I like and can count on my neighbors
-A place where people share resources like bulk orders from Costco
-A place out of the way, but close enough to the city that I could catch a movie
-A place where people help each other with child care, home repairs, when they are sick (whatever their skill set provides)
-A place with a shared community center where people share family style meals, music (preferably folk), and art every night of the week
-A place that promotes green living and ran off wind power, solar panels, and fresh water
-A place that could generate income for those who live there by offering workshops and events
Does this type of place exist? I am not sure. But, as Barack Obama once said, "If it's possible, it's worth pursuing."
Altered Today: Action towards a dream, sharing my idealistic ideas publicly