Notes From Windward Archives

A Short History of the Notes

Windward started in the mid-70’s in the southern Nevada desert. We think of our first decade as the time when we worked to figure out what we wanted to create—the time when we designed our “ship.”

In the fall of 1985, we made the commitment to move to a place where we could create a more independent and self-reliant life.

We had originally planned to move to a floating ship, but a majority of our Board of Directors didn’t believe we were organizationally ready. After a lot of discussion, consensus was reached to look for a landed site with access to water.

After a two year search, we settled in Klickitat County in south central Washington state, and began the long and arduous task of moving. Some of our people got on with the task of transporting tons of gear a thousand miles north, while others remained behind to keep operations going during the move.

Even after the primary task of moving was completed and our southern operations were brought to a close, some of our core people remained in Nevada to finish personal projects.

With key people in different places, we were faced with the challenge of communicating a functional description of what was going on at the new site. This started a series of letters which soon coalesced into our newsletter.

In time, the Notes grew as a compilation of journalized entries by the people living on site, articles about the theory and practice of what we were doing, letters from our friends, and anything else that seemed fitting.

Over the years, the Notes have served a number of purposes, the most important of which involves communicating a basic idea of what we’re about. Intentional community is a very large field, and no group can be all things to all people.

We’ve made choices and woven together a social fabric that works for us. That doesn’t mean that it would necessarily work for others.

For example, some people who feel a strong stewardship for life (a key value for us) have embraced a vegetarian lifestyle. We have gone in another direction, and view animal husbandry as central to perserving a balanced life-web. There are good arguments for both paths; the Notes discuss the paths we’ve chosen and why.