Chubby Squirrels is Dead. Long Live Point A
i am distractible. Thomas put it well when he said “Paxus is best in the first 24 hours.” Appropriately, he said this after i had done some of the initial organizing work around securing the land for Sapling, the newest up and coming income sharing community in Louisa county. I talked with real estate folks and did other logistical work right after Thomas discovered property which is located half way between Acorn and Twin Oaks.
And it was Sapling which helped kill the new community project i was dreaming of which had the unfortunate name Chubby Squirrels. But i have no sadness about Saplings start, in fact the opposite. Much faster than i would have with a new community, Sapling is helping to manifest the idea of a local eco-system of communities in the county.
For almost 20 years there were only two income sharing communities in central Virginia: Twin Oaks and Acorn. Yet we already knew that many people were looking for community and the waiting lists at both of these existing communities scared and/or discouraged possible new members. But perhaps even more important, communards make mistakes.
There are people who come to live in community, who are good for us and we are for them, but they screw up. They get into a relationship which they freak out about or perhaps they take on too much responsibility and drop it in a non-graceful way. They accidentally and regrettably poison their relationship with their community and sometimes need to move on.
If there is another community which appreciates their gifts and community spirit and can forgive them their mistakes (made somewhere else) then we don’t have to lose this experienced person from the movement. Several of our better members have stayed in the movement by shifting to a new community. By having a larger number of communities in the county, we increase our chances of retaining some of our best talent.
Starting communities is tough business. Perhaps 19 of 20 fail in the first two years. To beat these odds you need to look for what ever advantages you can find. In Louisa county the biggest advantage you can have is to be closely affiliated with an existing community. This has provided financial stability (Acorn’s seed business is the biggest customer for Living Energy Farms crops, for example). There is also a cultural bridge. Sapling consist entirely of former Acorn members, most of them still actively involved in Acorns seed business. There are numerous cross community friendships and intimacies. We share a rich local social life.
And frankly, Twin Oaks and Acorn have their hands a bit full helping with the two start ups of LEF and Sapling. It is not time to add to this by trying to create a new community in the county. Instead these start up communities should get more stable and settled in and then they too can help more new communities start in this area.
So it is time to let the Chubby Squirrels idea die. And instead, i can be distracted by the lusciously vexing proposition of starting income sharing communities in urban areas. Viva Point A!
Edited by [Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi]