For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed about living in a community where individuals work together and actively choose to live their lives together. It started as a child. I was raised in an Army family that moved a lot, and while we didn’t live near our family we always had support from the surrounding military community. We had “overseas family”. Many of those families are still friends of my parents, even 20 or more years later.
While I didn’t want to continue a military life myself as an adult, I’ve found myself moving every few years for work anyways. Feeling the isolation of our current culture, my husband and I have missed the connection and pull of community over the years. After having kids we really wanted to put down roots and become a part of a living, thriving community.
Not long after moving to Richmond and finding a neighborhood we loved, I heard about cohousing. I love our neighborhood, we have great neighbors who are involved and committed to the larger community, but we aren’t as close nor as cooperative as we could be. After hearing about cohousing something instantly clicked. I learned about what the group in Richmond was doing and read more about cohousing in the national and international scene and realized that the thing I’ve always dreamed about for myself actually had a name and was already being done.
Joining Richmond Cohousing was not an immediate thing for us. We came to a lot of meetings and events. I got involved in a committee and even attended the national conference before deciding to commit to the project in Richmond. During that time, I got to know the existing members of Richmond Cohousing and decided for my family whether or not their goals and community values aligned with my own. I was invited to participate and dream with them.
It wasn’t a big step, paying the membership fee and committing. But joining and participating has been a whole bunch of small steps. One event at a time, one meeting at a time, one decision here, one phone call there, one retreat in the woods, more phone calls, a few face to face meetings, and several lovely shared meals all have added up to a bunch of small steps that have helped get the group to where we are now.
Maybe you’re curious about cohousing or what Richmond Cohousing is doing. Maybe you too have felt a missing connection to the world you live in. Right now is an exciting time for Richmond Cohousing. If you are at all interested in what we are doing, I would invite you to come to one of our events and meet with us.
Anne and Matt have worked in restaurants around the country (including a stint in Alaska so remote that their patrons often arrived by plane). Now, Anne is a driving force in getting our Community Meals policy off the ground and showing us that it is possible to gracefully and thoughtfully cook for a large group.