We Came to Build a House

We shifted our lives, moved continents, moved emotional mountains to be here in Moab 2020, to be under the gaze of the La Sals and the beautiful valleys she fosters. We came tied by believing in a better future for ourselves. We wanted to be part of at least building one house (on the cusp between code and natural building). 16 humans from early 20’s to early 40’s woke each day wanting to be part of the change. To pay attention to details, to learn to build better home and habits. To heal.

It is hard to be with yourself and present in life if you are on guard.  That’s what really led me to see the uniqueness of the bunkhouse. 
I felt safe. Even in a new town, in a new bedroom over a 1000 miles from where I was born, I started to notice and unfurling inside of me. A daily calm and joy grew, I felt safe walking the creek path and biking in the community. At home even in a coming together of 16 people I felt seen and respected by each one. I had a house full of friends and fellow life learners.
I keep realizing so much of life’s beauty is in that personal connection. The gift is being able to interact with someone everyday.  At their best, improvisation and love is being in the moment of life, not in the buffering, not in the … not in the uploading of life. It’s hard when you are in adapting to being connected in this digital way.

Any certainty in this maelstrom of times is an anomaly, yet the joys I woke up to in the bunkhouse often were:

A beloved friend/roommate, going to say good morning and getting the day together
Learning something both on and off the build site
Group dancing and stretching
Experiencing improvisation and interacting with brilliant minds
Seeing someone’s face
Tasting fresh bread or a roommate’s culinary exploration
Seeing  joy and kindness in actions
Constant creativity and music making
A space filled with joyous sound waves
Being kinder with other people and ourselves

I wonder about my housemates, I wish them joy, inspiration and motivation to live each day. It’s a curiosity, this hunger for humanity.

One of the hard elements of this time and its current elegy of pain and confusion in uncertainty is that I want to know the hearts of others. I want to help the hearts of others. What is my new timeline in the face of a shifting world? When do I strive for community again, how do I keep seeking it in my life while moving forward on things that make me a more whole person?

Community Rebuilds was a family of intention, of interest of deciding to go to Moab in a time in your life, be it premeditated or riding a tide of opportunity. Some of us knew we wanted this for years, other’s became aware of the opportunity just weeks before we slept here that first night. People who came here full of dreams with hearts full – visions of future homesteads and chosen family, of future harvests, of future discoveries. Together we built, climbed, hiked, ran, swam and physically pushed through our own limits and desire to explore this life and this land. The kind of person it takes to turn group living from a internship to the gift of a loving home are the ones full of active joy and self awareness. Folks that address the reality of the moment – honoring their own needs and frustrations while also waking up each day before the dawn to learn a new skill or to dive into the absurd or necessary tasks often found on a work site. We answered each others questions, and I came here to be in my body outside; in a team. That’s what we signed up for.

I am grateful for the 1.5 month immersion in physical presence. Watching someone’s mouth flutter with excitement, with joy, with curiosity.  In a team setting when someone is starting to get frustrated and needing a little help, or a little shade, or water, just being with someone, Being rooted with yourself enough that you have space. For Another. 

We came to build a house. We came and built a home. And we became a family.

Words and Photography by Spring 2020 Intern, Ola Klimczak.

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