From the moment I first learned of them, I’ve wanted to live in an intentional community. I’m not starry-eyed about it. I don’t yearn for utopia. I just want to experience another way to be.
I’ve studied the communities directory on the website of the Foundation for Intentional Community. I’m on their email list. They send me invitations to webinars and zoom events. I don’t want to sit through a webinar; I want to visit some communities, maybe find one that suits me. It would be a little like visiting college campuses during senior year of high school, which is a rite of passage I missed out on, having skipped out on my senior year to move away from home and begin my search for that other way to be.
So it’s sort of a do-over.
Anyway… I haven’t made the leap to visiting any of the communities in the directory that might be a good fit. Maybe it’s the Goldilocks in me: this one’s too rustic, that one’s too communal, this one’s too small, that one’s too far away.
When I was younger I thought my ideal living situation would be a tiny cabin the woods. Now that I’m older I know more about chopping wood and carrying water, and how I don’t like doing either one. I also understand the importance of electricity. And I know more now about ticks and spiders and other biting things that like the woods as much as I do.
Plus, you know, bears.
The cabin still appeals, though I don’t want to live in isolation, like some frizzy-haired Unabomber, away from all the people. Even if such a thing were possible. I just want to live away from some of them, like the ones who drive the giant pickup trucks with the Trump banners and Confederate flags. I’m thinking they’re not the sort to be drawn to intentional community.
Safe space. Yes. That’s what I want.
Do you have any experience with intentional community? Know anyone who’s lived in one? I have a friend who spent time at The Farm in Tennessee, another who lived for years at Twin Oaks. My predecessors at the vegan café I owned for three years are now in charge of the kitchen at a community outside of Tucson. I think about going there, but it’s the desert southwest, and there’s so little water, and it’s so very hot.
See? Goldilocks. She did, of course, finally find her “just right.” I remain hopeful.