The cook awoke early today and has tried experimenting with a new kind of pancake in the kitchen. This one is made from cornmeal with a few different kinds of grain thrown in. The smell wakes everyone else up except the gardener, and people start to slowly file in and snag a hotcake or two for themselves, some dousing it with some Amish maple syrup and some adding a little fresh fruit here and there. A pot of coffee fills the air with that wonderful morning scent, and everyone sits down at the table. The conversation ends up drifting toward people’s experiences with the Appalachian and Pacific Coast trails, and what has impacted people most by being out in the wilderness.
The manager lets everyone know that morning meeting will start in an hour and a half or so. Everyone except the cook takes a moment to tidy the kitchen, and a few last hotcakes are kept warm in the oven for when the gardener wakes up. People go off to start their mornings. The manager and two other staff members do yoga in the sunroom. One goes out to the picnic table for a long chat with his mother. The cook heads into town for a few groceries.
Once the group reconvenes, everyone takes a moment to talk about where their heads/hearts are that morning. During the chat, someone tells the group that they’ve solidified the next leg of their journey, and that she intends to bike across three states starting a month later. Afterward, everyone starts to talk over the projects for the day. The main objective for the day is to finish moving the dirt on the hill where the meditation hut is being built. The hole needs to be dug a little deeper, and the earth shaped a little more symmetrically before the stone and wood can be put in. We also discuss a few things to add to the master project list, and a few things that we’ve completed and can remove. The cook says that she has extra laundry to do, and asks if it’s okay to stay inside finishing that and making lunch. Of course! It’s the gardener’s day off, and she has decided to work on her new painting for the day. The manager also tells everyone else about a couple that will be coming in to visit in the evening – a scientist and a fire spinner from Louisville.
After the meeting finishes, everyone runs around the house for 5 minutes doing a general morning cleanup. (We made a mess in the living room last night!) Everyone throws on a jacket, grabs tools from the shed, and walks together into the woods to work on this thing. After a couple of hours we’ve made some great progress when we hear the bell ringing for lunch. Lentil soup with squash from our garden and some homemade kombucha to drink. Yum. After lunch, the cook offers to clean up the kitchen so everyone else can get back to the project, and is quickly taken up on her offer.
We work for 3 more hours on shaping the foundation for the tiny building and realize we’ve finished! Success! Everyone takes the tools back to the shed and disbands for a bit. Someone writes a few emails, another person works on her new dance routine, and another heads out to the dock to read a book for a bit. The cook realized this afternoon that one of the freezers had severely iced over, and set out to chip away at the ice and start the defrosting process. One of the guys decides to help for a bit, realizes that she’s had a long day, and offers to cook dinner tomorrow. She happily accepts. They end up working on tonight’s dinner together. The couple arrives from Louisville shortly after, and the manager gives them a tour around the property - telling them about our water system, recycling, how we maintain our community spaces, and how they can help while they’re staying with us.
The dinner bell is rung a couple of hours later. The smells are filling the kitchen and everyone gets excited to find out what’s on the menu! Turns out that it’s 4 different kinds of pizza with homemade crust. A five cheese, a garden veggie, a bbq chicken, and one apple-persimmon-cinnamon made partially from the fruit in our labyrinth! Mmmmm. After everyone has found their way to the dining room, we all gather in a circle. Everyone says their name, where they’re from, and what they’re grateful for that day. It’s especially moving to hear what’s important to everyone tonight. Afterward, we say “YUM!” and it’s on to eatin’ time!
As dinner winds down, conversations linger as people get up and take their turn cleaning up the kitchen for a minute. People go their own ways. Someone decides to write a letter, someone else does some laundry, another goes to look at the stars on the dock, and everyone else wanders (along with the visitors) toward the fire pit. We build a fire, talk a little more, and a couple people go to grab instruments from the living room. They choose a tankdrum and a cello, and end up playing together by the fire for a good hour or so. Slowly everyone fades off into their own rooms, and the day comes to a close.