After living in our rig for almost a full gestation period, we are very happy to announce that we've decided to rent a "casita" (little house) for the months of June and July. Where ever is this landing place for the nomadic communitarians, you may be wondering? Our new, temporary home will be at The Commons on the Alameda, a lovely cohousing community in Santa Fe where we spent four days several months ago. The people at The Commons were extremely warm and welcoming to us, and we feel that it will be a great place from which to acquaint ourselves with "The City Different" and spend time with new and old friends who live in the area.
While living within the city limits of Santa Fe was not in our original plans, there are some special aspects to The Commons that have drawn us to spend a few months there on a trial basis. Also, while cohousing was also not really "on our radar" in terms of intentional communities, we were delighted to discover that The Commons is quite a special place. Our experience there clearly demonstrated that cohousing is indeed a viable option for us as (short- or long-term) renters who are loathe to resume mortgage payments and the burdens of homeownership that we gladly left behind in 2009:
Aside from the kind company of The Commons folk, one of the most attractive things about this community is that they incorporate a strict fragrance-free policy for the entire community! While residents are not closely policed in terms of what they use in their own homes, common spaces are all cleaned with fragrance-free non-toxic cleaners, and all guests and residents are requested to be fragrance-free. Thus, there will be no toxic dryer sheet fumes, no chemical cleaners that give us headaches, no charcoal grills and lighter fluid, and no one coming to community functions drenched in perfume or hair gel (or so we hope)! This is akin to a miracle to us, and the notion of living in a community with this level of consciousness is a dream come true and a prayer answered.
Interestingly, many of the intentional communities we've visited use mainstream non-biodegradable cleaning chemicals, even those communities that recycle their own gray water in the interest of sustainability and permaculture techniques. We've honestly been shocked at how many self-proclaimed eco-communities use products that are not in keeping with their mission of environmentalism. However, The Commons impressed us greatly with their dedication to sustainability and maintaining an environment that is fragrance-free and safe for those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and Environmental Illness (EI). May is MCS awareness month, so in honor of that, on The Commons we place this first prize ribbon for safest community to live in aside form Earth Haven Ecovillage:
While there is a part of us that wants to just "keep on trucking", as it were, we also feel that after 9 months of rig living and more than 8,000 miles on the road, we all need a break, a sense of groundedness, and a chance to grow some tap roots in a new place, exploring how it will feel to make a new home. It is yet unclear if Santa Fe will truly feel like home, but we have enough friends in the area---and our son and daughter-in-law just 90 miles away in Taos---to feel like Santa Fe is a good place to rest our weary traveling bones, collect our thoughts, and enjoy some respite from the road. But never fear, dear Readers, this blog will stay alive, and we will approach life in Santa Fe with the minds of travelers, continuing to document our adventure as we explore one particular geographic region more deeply.
So, that's our big news of the moment as we look forward to spending the rest of May traveling through Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon. With perhaps a brief sojourn into southern Utah and Colorado, we will wend our way back to Northern New Mexico and, Lord willin', arrive to The Commons on the first of June. Yee-ha! Meanwhile, let's all...