The Dusty Dance of Belonging

 “Ground into your roots and stand in your truth, you are safe here.” Words I continually told myself at the beginning of my 5 month journey at CR. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, on a new planet far from my own. As fear fueled questions dictated by self criticism threatened my sense of belonging, I tried my best to find my center and breathe into the vision I dreamed when I applied. Transition provides so much growth sometimes that resistance springs forward to protect my spirit. A dance between the heart and ego which eludes to the realization that I must surrender to the flow, the process, and the unknown.

 I found patience with myself and burst through to the other side of my resistance to change and self criticisms. I realized how deeply I do belong here in this amazing community of 16 incredible humans. We all come from different places, backgrounds, and bring ourselves whole heartedly to our (quite large) bunkhouse table. We all want to belong here, and do. All participating and shining in our own ways, on and off the work site. An organized yet flowing communal relationship, where we set boundaries but also flow in growth and change. We work, live, eat, and play together. Assuming good intent and making space for one another at the root of understanding.

 I have officially assumed life as a sponge. Absorbing everything and allowing it to flow through me all at once. There is so much to learn on and off the build site. Between the framing, carpentry, adobe mixing, and more, I have had the opportunity to learn incredible things from my housemates. Stories and songs are shared day and night, of jobs and experiences past, and dreams of our futures and solutions to concerning issues we ponder. Chords being taught and practiced on guitar make way for group jam sessions filled with singing, laughter, and the introduction of the great pots and pans percussionist section. One of my housemates taught me how to make fermented sourdough bread, another introduced me to pickling, a few of us have been advancing our rock climbing skills together, and my dear roommate continually teaches me to keep it real and feel.

We are now at a month in to the program, and I am realizing that I haven’t grounded down in my truth this firmly in a long time. The freedom I feel to be myself and fully thrive in that space of belonging in a community like this has brought sparks of joy that I will cherish always. I came to this desert to do so much more than build homes. It is a place to dwell for a while, get lost, and be found again. Dancing in spirals through the dust. 

Written by Katie Savage, Community Rebuilds Intern Spring 2020

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