Cambia Ecovillage

While visiting Twin Oaks, we were introduced to a new ecovillage in the area.  At Cambia, a giant tricycle greeted us at the driveway.  Around the side of the house stood a huge treehouse with multiple entrances and a slide. This was clearly a home for kids and creatives. With Julia and I being both, this brought up a lot of warm fuzzy feelings. Yes, I have to admit that it appealed to my own inner child as well for a part of me wanted up into the treehouse.

The people of Cambia haven’t been there long, and were with Twin Oaks previously. They are now creating their own, interdependent community in the same neighborhood. This means the seed startup resources are fostered by the Twin Oaks outreach program.

They have brought the best of what they like from Twin Oaks, and are implementing it in their own way. They echo the ideas of income sharing and inter-connectivity with the neighborhood. However, they place a stronger emphasis on the arts, hence the tricycle and the treehouse. Also at Cambia, individual families can build their own house, unlike the apartment-style living arrangements at Twin Oaks.

They live in close quarters at the moment, but are working towards having more living space. Their projects include renovation of the house they are living in, as well as attention to a “tiny house.” They plan to expand to no more than about twelve people. Open to new members, incoming people can build their own home on the acreage.

We only met one person during our short visit, Elle. She really exemplifies the passionate individuality of ‘this is what we are doing’ nature that I am finding is common in people who are starting a community. She spoke well of the rural, family environment. In this environment, people have lots of self-initiative and are self-directed. It’s captivating to experience first-hand.

Places like Cambia feel like sparks of potentiality being tended with heartfire. They make this adventure into alternative, ecologically conscious lifestyles well worth it.  The homesteads are magical and the people friendly.  All it takes is a little curiosity.

Visiting Virginia

Arthur and Grandpa make cookies!
Arthur and Grandpa made cookies!

For Christmas of 2015, Julia, Arthur and myself visited Grandma and Grandpa Buller in Virginia.  We were there for about 10 days, covering both Christmas and New Years.  We stayed in a suite in their basement that has been rented out in the past.

With a stairway up to the main floor, we all lived together for almost two weeks, and it was wonderful.  Grandma and Grandpa took great care of us, nourishing our bodies, hearts and souls.  Chef Grandpa made duck for Christmas dinner!   Arthur played a lot in the kitchen, even helping Grandpa make cookies.  Grandpa also took Arthur for a few rides on the lawn mower and Arthur loved it!

A hot water heater cardboard box had been saved to be used for a fort or house.  Boy did Arthur enjoy the house that Uncle John and I cut into it.  Arthur would take his stuffed animals in with him to keep him company.

The weather itself was very welcoming!  Warm weather greater than 10 degrees Celsius kept us comfortable.  We enjoyed driving around in the convertible with the top down a lot of the time.

Julia and I visited Twin Oaks again, an ecovillage that has been around for more than 50 years.  The tour guide showed us a new ecovillage just starting up that Twin Oaks is helping to get off the ground.  Cambia is suited specifically for families, supporting individual residences.  A blog post is forthcoming about Cambia and what we experienced there.

Arthur in a suit
Arthur all dressed up in the studio.

On New Year’s Eve the whole family enjoyed Harrisonburg’s First Night.  It was a train night for Arthur!  At the Children’s Museum he rode a Thomas the Train ride and also played with other wooden trains that were the same as at his daycare.  We walked around the square and Grandma bought donuts.  A DJ started playing some music and that set the stage for a dance party.  With all ages present, it was awesome to see kids and teenagers getting into the groove.  Arthur saw the dancing, and couldn’t wait to get out of his stroller.  Together, Arthur and I danced to Macklemore.  (Stay tuned, I will be updating this post with video of Arthur dancing.)

Leaving the family afterwards was difficult for everyone.  Grandma and Grandpa were terrific hosts, and tears were shed.  There’s definitely something about Virginia that is very poignant.

From my family to yours, Happy New Year!