by Nisargo Troy
As this year is coming to an end and I am looking back I am struck by how much movement has been going on here at Heartwood. Five houses have changed hands over the course of the past year! We have had to say some difficult Good-byes but also some wonderful Hellos. Since March we have had a total of 11 adults and three kids move into our little community! Our email chat has been busy with notifications like these: “The (insert family name) are arriving tonight. There will be a moving truck parked in front of (insert house number) tomorrow morning at 9:00. Please come and help unload. All help will be very much appreciated!” And lo and behold, by the next morning a bunch of people will show up to help carry the contents of another large moving truck into one of the homes – folks with strong backs managing the heavy items, others doing what they can. “North bedroom upstairs” or “Watch out! Heavy item coming through!” one can hear while laughter is always present.
But first, when new members arrive at their new house, they are being greeted with a lovely sign at the door like this one:
Inside there is always a welcome basket filled with useful and fun gifts!
And then the move in begins as these very recent pictures show:
Not every move-in is being celebrated with a bonfire in the evening, but this one was:
Living in community can be exciting, invigorating and a lot of fun. But it is not always easy. It can be challenging to stay awake on a weeknight coming together again and again and again until next year’s budget is discussed enough so that a unified decision can be made. It took a total of five meetings this year! It is difficult when there seems to be more work than people to cover it all. It can be stressful sometimes to help dogs and cats and people to live together in harmony.
But we shine when we show our support and caring for one another. There is move-in and move-out help, there are meal trains and grocery shopping for the sick. Cars are being shared when needed, kids are being watched and even the most unusual cooking ingredient can be found by just asking for the item on the chat. There were those who went to the hospital in the middle of the night to accompany a member; there were private entrance pathways cleared by mystery snow shovelers. There are those with strong backs who carry heavy items up the stairs or down when needed, or dig trenches in our tough clay soil. The list goes on.
Here are just a few of the recent posts on our community chat expressing gratitude for all the support received thanks to being part of this community:
We're so grateful for the abundant welcome as we start this wonderful new chapter of our lives, living at Heartwood! All the delicious, thoughtful and lovely items in the welcome basket, & flowers, fruits, jade plant, the welcome sign, all the helping hands & cheerful greetings on the path, a sumptuous community potluck on the day we arrived, (with bonus of a dynamic guest speaker), flowers in bloom and trees in bud, birdsongs instead of sirens and traffic noise, stars at night instead of streetlights. The BEST fortune cookies we've ever eaten, and excellent fortunes!! (Thank you Ashley & Lily:) Aaaahhh... YES! we're rejoicing in arriving after much hard work and a long and winding process. We're tired, happy and looking forward to contributing fully to the life of the community, as we get settled in. Thanks neighbors; the next steps of the journey are just beginning!
- Mary Ellen and Paul
We are home and settled, and WOW! I just wanted to express my immense gratitude to all of you for helping us through this situation. Both Julie G and Sandy didn't hesitate to help through the wee hours of the night on Wednesday, and the outpouring of support, concern, offers of help, and care for Lily has touched my heart more than I can express. Thank you just doesn't feel adequate, but thank you! We are so thankful to be a part of this community and for the outpouring of love that is present here.
A number of miracles happened yesterday.
One person, then another, then more came by and offered to help us pack and move yesterday. I was overwhelmed by all of the support. & thanks for taking care of our guest rooms. It was also great to have time to say good-bye one more time.
All I can say is how amazing it was to have all of that help. And how much we love you all.
Grace, Fred & Connor
Toward the end of the year 2023 I am reflecting on the beauty of this place. We are proud of our five amazing members over 80 and thrilled about the six under the age of 12. (With one more arriving in a very short while!) And there are a whole bunch of us in the in-between realm, all of us making up our community of 50 members, a truly multi-generational community. And on any good day like today I am so thankful for this place and its people!
May you all be so fortunate as to be able to call your home welcoming and warm this Holiday Season. May you be surrounded by people who care about you and may you look forward to the coming year with hope and joy in your hearts.
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