random walk through fields of musings

Saturday, February 2, 2008


When the Michigan winter is harsh, the wind bitter, my commute to work tedious and I don't get enough exercise or sleep or think about dried, sauteed green beans, I reflexively tell myself that this is stupid, illogical and pointless, and that we should move to a sane climate (Berkeley) and live without a car (Berkeley), be able to exercise outdoors year-round (Berkeley) without watching for icy patches, live in walking and biking distance of work, restaurants, Berkeley Bowl and a short BART ride away from Shalimar. I've served my time in Michigan, braving the weather and isolation from downtown, dependence on a car and far from the hill.

Yesterday, one of our neighbors said her husband wants her to move to California, but that though it would be nice, "it wouldn't be cohousing". I should have said, "I feel the same way", and tell her I've wanted to move Great Oak many times. In those moments I want to escape, escape the tedium of the weather, the petty indiginities of putting up with this or that less-than-considerate act, I ultimately get to this:

  • People at Great Oak, and probably on the whole who want to live
    in Cohousing, are so reasonable, so much more so than the world at large.

  • I want to do more and depend more on my neighbors,
    because I like them and I'd much rather spend time with them than
    living isolated in my home, as I might in Berkeley

  • Living in community, especially this community is wonderful;
    most of the time we take it for granted, but it is so much better
    than not living in community.

Of course the fear is that we're missing something, maybe that other cohousing community that is in Berkeley would be the ideal place in the ideal locale and climate, and that's where we should be heading. But as a I learned so many years ago when travelling and looking for a better home than Berkeley, the memory is always better than the present, but being involved in the present community is the best of all.