I've been at Tryon Life Community Farm for almost a week. There are lots of reasons why I'm really excited about the place. Last night at dinner 3 things happened that struck me as perfect illustrations of the beauty of this community.
1. During dinner one member was trying to engage another in a somewhat logistical conversation. In a halting, emotional voice the person indicated that they weren't up for the conversation. All other talk died down and everyone gave their attention. She said, "well, there's something really affecting me right now so I think I should just speak it into the space. This is the anniversary of the death of someone who was incredibly important to me. " Those close to her reached out to touch her shoulder or put a hand on her back. Others offered words of empathy and support. That there was such immediately available space and support from the entire group for a member of the community to express difficult and intense emotions was amazing.
2. As dinner wound down one person started using their utensils, plate, and glass as instruments. Another person or two quickly joined. Within a minute the entire group of us were tapping, banging, and stomping away at in improvisational percussive jam for about 10 minutes.
3. After dinner, about 5 of us plopped down on the long couch next to the big round dinner table and enjoyed a pleasant, decompressing, post-meal cuddle.
These are not atypical events.
Today I was talking with a couple members who both noted how little time people here spend in non-productive speech (i.e. not gossiping, back-biting, etc.) and how well communication flows. I'm totally smitten. It helps of course that everyone I've connected much with is very excited about the possibility of me living here. It's very easy to see how much I could offer and how well I'd fit in with the mix of personalities, interests, and activities.
Not that this will really make the decision I ultimately have to make any easier. In some ways it'll just make it harder. Still, it's nice to feel like my biggest problem is choosing between really great options for what to do with my life.