Over a week ago I was sifting through the massive number of Compact emails. I read an email that someone wrote about not wanting to pound clothes on a rock in order to wash them. I did not read all of the associated emails, thus I don't know what was entailed.
What is does make me think about is how we seem to have a need to do everything ourselves. As a mother and working woman I know this powerful feeling of the need to be "supermom." We seem to have to have perfect children, the perfect house, make all homemade dinners, bake our bread, all while working full time. June Cleaver on hyperdrive. I admit that I often feel that I have to do it all. And I try to.
The other day, however, I realized that it may not be a good thing. Yes, it is good to make choices in order to live in a healthier way. However, why am I baking my own bread and trying to sew my own diapers (for the babies - not for me). I love baking bread - why don't I bake bread for myself and a neighbor while the neighbor sews diapers for me? Why not heat my own oven - instead of my own and a neighbor heat theirs? Why not share some meals with a neighbor - instead of all of us using our ovens?
As I am planning my edible landscape, I noticed that I am trying to grow ALL of my own food. Why not grow a larger portion of something and then trading produce with a neighbor? Why not share tools with neighbors - instead of everyone owning their own lawnmower? Why not heat one kitchen instead of all? I understand the need of privacy, but there is something very nice about being able to ask a neighbor for butter or eggs or a hammer. It is nice to not need to do and be it all.
These are just questions that I have been thinking about as I try to do everything.
One of the first steps in creating a sustainable community is the development of community. What once was the front porch community is now the backyard community - everyone is hidden from their neighbors. I walk through my neighborhood and rarely see neighbors. I know they are on their back deck away from prying eyes. I wouldn't even recognize half of my neighbors if I saw them on the street.
As I develop my sustainable home I hope to develop community.