Monday, June 25, 2012

The adventure continues

Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community has come a long way since I started this blog. Back then we weren't yet living our dream. Our complex still was under construction.

I called my blog, My Cohousing Adventure. I shared my experience of moving from Calgary, Alberta to Nanaimo, British Columbia. That involved integrating into communities within communities.

The most closely knit circle was Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community. But there were other groups of people with common interests in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, and further afield along the British Columbia coast.

It's interesting to look up my first blog post and see what I wrote. It was on November 25, 2008, and I titled it Pigs Will Fly.

Fast forward to June 25, 2012. Believe it or not, I think it's fair to say that pigs are flying!

The residents of Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community are a wide cross section of people. There are elders, middle aged baby boomers, university students, and families with young children. Pacific Gardens seems to be a mini United Nations, with people of many nationalities and religions.

One of the characteristics of Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community from the very beginning was a fondness of potluck suppers. At 6:00 pm every Thursday there's a potluck that's open to the public. This often attracts repeat visits by friends and family members as well as one-off visits on the part of people who are curious about cohousing.

But there also are many spontaneous potluck suppers on other occasions. When a new person or family moves in, a potluck is held to ease their evening meal on their busy moving day. Potlucks are held for many other reasons too. Pacific Gardeners love them, and will hold one at the drop of a hat.

I like the fact that the community's name includes Gardens. It's an apt metaphor for the reality on the ground.

If you take the word literally, several community members are keen gardeners, even to the extent of hosting permaculture courses at Pacific Gardens.

But many other kinds of "gardening" are happening too. Cohousing is a way of life that grows people.

Learning how to cooperate with neighbours is an ongoing journey. During conflicts, I've thought of this or that person as a weed. But then, on other occasions, one of those very "weeds" has turned out to be a person of great sensitivity. He or she has noticed an unmet need in our community, and has rallied us to support a person who could use a shoulder to lean on. My idea of what a "weed" is has been challenged again and again.

I'm sure that other Pacific Gardeners could say the same of me -- that I have contributed to their personal growth.

I could rattle on about all the neat stuff that happens at Pacific Gardens -- the interesting forums on environmental topics, the movie nights, the musical evenings, the meditation circles, the yoga classes, the painting bee to decorate the dining tables ....... you name it.

I could try to give you a sense of the porous boundary between Pacific Gardens and the surrounding community -- how much interface there is between Pacific Gardens and external friends, family members and folks with common concerns.

But ....... other Pacific Gardeners have expressed a desire to post on this blog. I am thrilled about that. To me, it means that Pacific Gardens truly is showing itself up as the garden I always thought it would be. From here on in, there will be a variety of voices representing the community.

So ....... with that ....... drum roll ....... I hereby re-name this blog .......

OUR Cohousing Adventure!