It’s now been several months since I decided to discontinue my involvement with Lanark Eco-Village. I reflect often upon the time I spent there and what I’ve learned from taking the steps I did in becoming involved, as well as what has occured in my life since that moment of decision when I said that I will no longer be involved. I had for so many years been pining for an intentional community, particularly following the month long training at the Findhorn Foundation and understanding how and how not to do the design elements for community living, that I went into the Lanark situation wearing a number of rose coloured glasses and biases that enabled me to overlook many of the aspects I needed to address before getting fully commited to this venture.
Up front, the entire project looks very dreamy and wonderful with a small group coming together and creating an environment for holding meetings, sharing food together, music and the walks around the property showing where various aspects of the community would be built. And of course, there was the wonderful garden which had been enlarged and enriched and in part designed along the lines of the permaculture model. I was always intrigued with the composition of members and the factors that attracted people to this model for living. I quickly became aware that my aspirations and inspirations from the Findhorn Foundation, where, by the way I had spent many weeks and attended various trainings there over a 25 year period. In the end I realized that I had visited Findhorn 15 times over that timeframe, visits that lasted from one week to four weeks. I had attended meetings in the community, and some of those meetings were to resolve issues that are an inevitable part of living together in such close proximity, and in sharing resources, and skills. I was always impressed with the manner in which these conflicts were regarded and in the steps taking to find solutions for the feelings and needs that were represented by those issues.
I came away from the Lanark Eco-Village with many more ideas and realizations that I entered with. I have a totally different understanding of how community needs to be regarded and how those who aspire to live in a close knit group will need to proceed, and the commitments that are required to make such a community come together. Such knowledge and awareness is priceless, and I would be more than pleased to offer my understand and to share my knowledge with anyone who would be interested in setting out on such a venture.