Notes from Windward: #66

Emily's Update - June 23

      Over one week into my experience and I'm still going strong. Maybe too strong sometimes, I've been teased occasionally for my ambitious stone carrying on our peaceful morning walks (teased . . but yet everyone seems to grab a stone to carry . . . always helping each other out). The stones are very important for the future of the Yurt project - using local materials to create a beautiful path leading up to our little "Acorn". And what more sustainable than using human power to move these stones?!

Emily cutting 2"foam insulation for the yurt's walls

      The Yurt project has pretty much dominated my work time over the past week. I feel like the work has nicely supplemented my design background. I have spent ages locked in a closet of a room "building" with lines on a computer. Since coming to Windward I have been forced (okay, not really forced. . . I was practically begging) to pick up a hammer and practice my aim.

      The first thing I learned was that I am not a "switch-hitter" - there is only one way to hit the nail on the head, right-handed completely contradicting in my left-handed world. How wonderful it is to actually be allowed to use my hands and help shape a real space! It's incredibly time consuming but also incredibly rewarding. Whenever I conquer a task I let out a little internal cheer. I have to admit though, that there were times that after swallowing more than a healthy amount of insulation foam, that I thought I was ready to go back to designing on my computer. But getting messy is half of the fun.

      The other big project that I am involved in is the Container project. This is possibly the perfect challenge for the designer in me. I have always had a fascination with using shipping containers for the structure of a home and now I have many containers within my reach just waiting to be utilized. It felt so good today to pick up a pencil and some drawing paper and start to lay out some ideas. I only had an hour to work at it so not much has happened yet on paper but my mind is constantly toying with ideas.

      So far this has been an "I" story but really behind each "I" there is a team of wonderful people. Everyone has their own unique background and their own ideas to bring to the community. Without everyone working together really nothing would be getting done. During a long stint today working on one of the legs of the new sheep fence I realized how that project was a perfect example of how sustainability should work. Sustainability, in my mind, is a team project.

Jacki, Walt, Vergil, Jannel and Jillian take a break
from fencing for a pic

      A small community is perfectly poised to work together to create a sustainable lifestyle. While we were working on the fence in a team of five we each had a small leg of the work to do and together the fence was completed. The fence work, as well as sustainability, is a team effort and each of has a moment to take the lead and also a moment to step back and watch while someone else takes the lead (of course learning from their efforts!). Each of us has our own special talent and together we should be able to create a self-sustaining situation. We should be able to completely provide for ourselves and each other in manner that is healthy for all - the earth included.

      There is a lot happening here. I can see only the blank slate that Windward is offering us. They have the tools and space to create a very special place in this crazy world. I am excited to see the evolution and hope that this is only the very beginning of a wonderful future.

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