I take every 7th week off to recharge and rest.
(a.k.a. Small Scale Sabbaticals – a brilliant concept I adopted from Seanwes)
I was on my mini sabbatical during the last week of March, and my husband, Dave, our friend, Ed, and I visited the EcoVillage at Ithaca (EVI) in Ithaca, NY!
We arrived at the village a little before 9pm, and it was already dark. I didn’t get to see the village itself but the stars were amazing! Ed is from Argentina, and he was telling us how it still freaks him out to see the constellations upside down! 😀
Elan, our kind innkeeper at Frog’s Way B&B, met us at the dark parking lot and led us in to the cozy basement apartment we stayed at. I was so exhausted from the long travel (we’d left our home in Seattle at 4:30 am), I went to bed and fell asleep immediately.
The next morning, we had our breakfast – guys had homemade granola and yogurt with a cup of coffee while I had a couple of pieces of gluten-free toast with chunky peanut butter and sliced bananas and an apple with a cup of Bengal Spice tea. Mmmmm…
Their kitchen was at the north side of the house and only has a tiny window (it’s designed this way to maximize the insulation in the house), but the view from our bedroom on the south side was pretty awesome.
Yes, the landscape was still pretty grey and bare, but we looked out the window and saw grassy field, gardens, and trees. Definitely different than our normal view from the apartment of pavement, town homes and cars… 😀
Temperatures were in the mid-30s, and though it was not “cold cold”, it was damp and felt a lot colder to me. I hate being cold so immediately followed the wisdom of my Wisconsin-bred husband and put on a pair of long underwear.
Our purpose of being there was to learn from the founders – how they got started, lessons learned and successes of building a thriving ecovillage.
Our first meeting was with Liz, the co-founder, and we met in one of their common houses (at EVI, they have 3 distinctive neighborhoods – Song, Frog, and Tree – and though residents live in their own private homes, they get to use the common house for shared meals, meetings, and other gatherings.)
This common house in the Frog neighborhood was by far my favorite! It felt so open and airy. Even on a grey, drizzly day, there was so much light in the building.
And, of course, I loved all the artwork there 🙂
I was drawn to their handmade gourd lampshades immediately!
They also have a workshop/studio/shop Graham’s husband built, called “Gourdlandia”, in the village, and I was thrilled to take a peek at other beautiful creations ❤
And, of course, I had to paint one of the gourd lampshades for my daily painting project 🙂
During our stay, our friend, Devon, who used to be an intern at Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead, where Dave lived for 7 years, and his lovely partner, Star, invited us over for dinner at their home in Ithaca.
They had an awesome build-your-own taco bar with all the goodies. Oh, it was amazing!! And it was so nice to see an old friend and meet new ones, too 🙂
On the last day on our way to the airport, we stopped at one of the falls in Ithaca.
Because all the snow was melting, the fall was pretty impressive! I could feel the mist on my face from 50 yards away!
We were there for only 3 days, and it was disorienting to wake up in my bed the next morning.
With all the technological advancement, you can travel so far away so fast now. When I got up on Sunday and walked out of my bedroom and looked out the living room window, I wasn’t sure if we were really in Ithaca the day before.
But I look at these pictures and paintings and know we were really there!
I’m so grateful to have been able to spend a few days in such a beautiful place and meet the kind people at the EcoVillage!