If I talk about ecovillages, are you one of those people who immediately thinks of hippies? No shame in this, we are all filled with stereotypes. And before I came and lived in an ecovillage, I had differents preconceptions about it.
So, what’s an ecovillage? What is a community? I will not be able to explain this. Community is something for which you can’t give an exact definition. Community is something you can understand if you live in one and take part of the daily life there. And even after 7 months in an ecovillage, I can’t give you a definition.
Because community is something complex. Something in movement. Something lively. In each community, there are differents connections, different people, different projects, different dreams. In fact, we can compare a community to a sea. It’s like a gigantic sea, where differents boats sail. These different boats represent families or groups of people. Before they start the travel, all the boats decided together one course to keep. So together, they go forward in this same course. But, it’s not really easy because the boats aren’t made with the same equipement, the same materials, the same age, the same histories. And in each boat, the sailors are different. They have different pasts, different dreams, different priorities. So to keep the same course, and at the same time satisfy each boat and all sailors is a big challenge. On top of that, storms can appear suddenly. They can create a lot of movement, or even destroy or damage some boats. So maybe, the sailors have to define a new course, rebuild boats and find the energy to do this.
Yes, reaching the destination is difficult. But, the travel to the destination is beautiful. Every moment is precious : the time that you admire the sunset, the time that you see new fish in the sea, the time that everyone works to improve the sail from one boat, the time that you share a meal, that you play together, … The solidarity, the sharing, the hope, the joy that each person creates is a strenght to reach the course. And together, we can dream bigger.
Because « Alone I go faster, together we go further ».African proverb
So yes, building a community and keeping it alive is difficult. But it’s also an amazing adventure. That is worth the risk.