Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On the Green

Do something for me-- read this an imagine that you're living this life.
Six little houses hem the edges of a green piece of acreage. Their front doors face out to the world, but their back doors all point towards each other. There are enough acres that no one feels hemmed in, but close enough to cross backyards towards each other.

In the very middle of these houses is a common green, a large, organic garden, where all of these neighbors work together to grow their favorites-- ripe tomatoes hang from the branches, Sweet corn stands knee-high, promising of treats later in the summer. Nearby the fruit orchard-- peaches, apples, cherries-- are in blossom, scattering a gentle snow of petals over the green carpet of grass.

A proud, young tom turkey struts between the trees. Elsewhere, the autumnal gold and bronze of hens are scattered like leaves. A little red barn holds two nanny goats with one doe kid, who is being bottle fed by a youngster for a project. A chunky pony, with two squealing children aboard, clutching his fly-away mane, makes the rounds through the fields, followed closely by a watchful aunt on horseback.

It's early summer. Many of the men folk in this community are at work. Through out the day women and children pass through the fields to the other houses. Homemade bread loaves appear-- homemade cheeses, shared dinners disperse to the different households as dinner time approaches. The gaggle of children-- all cousins-- can roam around and play, always near a watchful parent or aunt or uncle.

After dinner, a few of the uncles and a troop of kids head to the pond for some fishing-- mostly just for fun. Chickens are ushered to their coop for the night. Ducks settle down near the pond, and occasional goose, destined to be Christmas dinner, hisses crankily from the marshy ground near the pond, under the overhanging of wild blackberries.

Can you imagine this? A family gathered together in one place, sharing these things? Talents and skills all intermingled to create a healthy whole? Fresh eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt from your own backyard? Children playing with their cousins, mothers gathering together to finish quilts, of make bread or dinner together. Raking the rows of the garden with a mish-mash of children from various families. Knowing that your kids can be outside without being afraid that someone will take them. Children learning where their food comes from? Being self-sustaining-- Not relying on eighteen wheelers to bring food tainted with corn syrup and cottonseed oil?

Imagine, making your own potato chips-- all colors of the rainbow-- from potatoes you grew yourself. Imagine always having someone to talk to-- to be able to cross over the fields and have family just that close.

So, please, tell me-- how do you feel about this? Is it your fondest dream? Your worst nightmare? Nice, but sounds too out there?

What if there were a community where lawyers could be lawyers, architects be architects, dentists be dentists, court managers be court managers, professors be professors, but at night they come home to this?

What is a REAL housewife? Is she someone who cooks and cleans? Or is she as she once was-- a domestic goddess of the hearth-- one who had a kitchen garden, had her own cow or goat for milk and cheese, raised chickens for eggs and had an 'egg fund' from extra eggs... who created with her hands. I cannot be the first, for I get no satisfaction from it-- but those things, I know, can fall into lace when they are part of the domestic whole.

Imagine teaching your children to spin-- to weave, to sew, and knit. Imagine them picking berries, gathering eggs.

Imagine being able to be sure their food contained no hormones.



The Reeves said...

Did you read my email i sent you...? It sounds very familiar

The Reeves said...

I just read your email back to me...Please let us know as soon as you can if you are going to be moving. I really want to jump on this if we can. We don't have a problem with Washington, it's just our whole family is all here!

MandaMommy said...

It's my dream! I love it! I so so wish that this could be a reality. And really, it's the whole job thing that really gets in the way...