Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unintentional intentional communities...

Have you ever found yourself wondering "Where is my community when I need them?" Well, so have I. In this day and age of apartment living new neighbors and new flats every year just gets...well, disgruntling? I've lived this way for 9 and a half years now and I'm just sick and tired of moving my whole life for school, for work, for living where I want to live. We are going to be making the great migration westward in the next month and I'm already dreading just boxing and unboxing, lifting and moving, and getting readjusted to yet another stock-box-cookie-cutter-home.

Thankfully, with this move I anticipate having a community I can actually enjoy. Occupied by people who have similar interests, open minded individuals, and those with a variety of backgrounds in career, finances, ethnicities, and even religions. Tolerance is key when first introducing one's self into this variety. Yellow Springs is where I WANT to be, where I CRAVE to be, and most of all where I'll finally fall into my unintentional intentional community. I'm not saying this town is all hippy dippy dreamy and fluff utopia. I'm simply saying they are anti-urban sprawl, which is what I most love. As a village it is small enough to keep the noise (accept for street fairs and weekends lol) and violent crimes down to a minimum, yet is a tourist town and so has a variety of tiny shops to keep my need to make finds and shop at a market doable.

I grew up first in Drexel which was a little Dayton border sprawl-over on your way between there and the country before you get to the second place I spent significant time in which was a rural Preble County village called West Alexandria. For the country-dwelling personality this is heaven. Two gas stations, a carry out, general store, corner eatery, a school light and one nice four way traffic light in the center of town. They even got a Subway after I left! "woohoo" Again, like YS there are few people so it is quiet. But, the one drawback of West Alexandria was the lack of diversity. About 98% caucasian and similar housing, values, and maybe 75-80% standard Christian teachings applied to everyone everywhere.

This is perfection in simple, laid back living for the majority who live there. The mayor is a grandmotherly figure, just a lovely woman who works hard. The towns council filled with the here and there's, the good old boys, and the town's oldest last names. There are churches on every corner, activities held in basements and cabins on their grounds, and children playing on nearly every back street. The real downer here was that everyone knew each other. Opposite of what is happening in my life now which is also a downer. I know, no pleasing me right? My point here is that I didn't fit into the mix very well. My values, be they spiritual, mental, or just my general spirit of open arms and mind DID NOT FIT. I wanted everyone to get along to unclique themselves? The problem is that when everyone is alike, there's a need to branch off into "groups" to make yourselves distinct.

Now some soccer mom is peering out the door to see those terrible chubby non-sports kids eating an ice cream cone and accidentally kicking a rock and hitting the tire rim of Mr. Henderson's new sedan. Oh No! So now Soccer Mom is on a tyrade, calling chubby ice cream's mother and telling her how awful her little rock (now) "throwing" child truly is. When chubster gets home he gets a tongue lashing and grounded for a week. Yep, you read that right. It happened ALL.THE.TIME. Problem when there's no drama and everyone's a Stepford wife or perfect parent? Anyone? What seems so perfect on the outside ends up a catastrophe of backstabbing lies perpetrated by SAHM's or someone on their way to work who saw you...uh oh JAY WALKING!? (yes, that last part did, in fact, happen to myself and my bff Jenni).

YS is not without its faults but they are available at the surface or very near it for people to gingerly extract and deal with as they will. I'm sure there's some perpetrating amongst the mothers and fathers here as well...but the beauty is in the diversity. People unintentionally making an intentional community of people who can either choose to get along or not but live peaceably along side one another. To work beside their fellow human beings to make this world a little bit better. I know I'm still glorifying it from the outside, and I'm sure I'll find life's little annoyances on the inside...but it won't be anything I can't deal with because I'll have my family and my friends closer by for support and I'll have the luck of the draw with finding like minded individuals in this old "hippy dippy" village! THE Yellow Springs for which the community is named was once thought to hold healing properties day spas and natural healing hotels sprung up around them. See, even a mystical start. :)

PS SOUL FIRE TRIBE!? HELLO! Me loves the fire, these spinners, and this video:



  1. I can't wait until you're closer and I can come shack up with you on the weekends for nature walks and icecream. This is the perfect place for you, and I hope you find a community that gives you peace. But you better not let anyone take away my bff card!

  2. LMAO I have three or four bff's but only one I call my bestie :P silly person. <3 loves you! And yes, shacking up you must!

  3. Yes, it does have it's problems, (where doesn't) but this is an amazing village. It is packed to the brim with the most creative interesting people and very nurturing. I have blossomed here as an artist. Where else has a FREE market once a month, encourages us to put up knit graffiti, and has so much going on in such a tiny village it's hard to know which to pick :) Anyway if you haven't checked this out already, chamber of commerce lists all that's going on and I run the yellow springs arts blog.
    Virgil runs a yellow springs gossip type blog.

    ps. budget travel listed our village one of the top ten coolest towns in America

    all the best

  4. Thank you SO much Corrine! Ever since my first drive through this joyful little village nearly ten years ago I have had a dream of living here. I have been doing research as to the ups and downs, ins and outs of YS so I don't get completely lost in the shuffle or bring up anything to a long-time local that would potentially hit their "hot button" lol. I also have friends who reside here and all of my close friends who also love and respect the history there.

    Those links are incredibly helpful to my research. I don't knit but I do have friends who do. I crochet, but crochet graffiti doesn't sound as cool. :)I saw your sight and I was amazed at the amount of knit graffiti around town. I've seen a few pieces on my visits but I've never noticed exactly how many places are improved by this art movement.

    Oh and budget travel should have listed it at THE coolest not just in the top ten, IMO. Hope to cross post with you again sometime!

    Off to view the blog links now, so excited!