Posted by: Ety W. | March 5, 2008

My Testimony 6: The Commune

This is part 6 of “My Testimony”. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.

After a time of searching, we finally found 140 acres that would suit our needs. The land stretched up the side of a mountain and bordered a national forest. There was no road to it, no buildings, no clearings, and no electricity. It was 140 acres of uncut forest, with two mountain springs.

For shelter, we constructed two tipis of heavy canvas. One was entirely handsewn, the other was sewn with a foot treadle sewing machine. Both tipis, as well as all our supplies, were carried in on foot. We cleared enough land near one of the springs for the tipis and a large garden. We built an outdoor kitchen, dammed up the higher spring, and fitted it with pvc pipe to provide running water. Hot water was heated on the campfire. We also dug a root cellar, and further away, a latrine. At the bottom of the mountain we built a small metal shed for storage.

Not only did we live without electricity, but we lived without clocks and keys. One of the guys had an old pickup truck for the 13 mile trip to town, but otherwise we traveled on foot. We bought whole grains and beans in bulk, but grew vegetables for ourselves. We cooked and canned everything over the campfire. Occasionally some would leave temporarily to go to work. We were on friendly terms with our neighbors and for the first year or so, everything seemed to be going well. However, something unspoken was beginning to change.

The problem was this. As long as we had the goal of finding the land, we were united in purpose. We all wanted the same thing. Once we got the land however, we began to have different ideas about what to do and how to do it. As far as I could tell, the men got along pretty well for the most part. It was the women who became territorial: over the tipis, over the kitchen, over the garden, over the food. There began to develop an undercurrent of dissatisfaction that I was actually quite oblivious to. Until it was too late.
Content copyright 2008 by If you find it anywhere else, it’s been stolen.
Click here for part 7.

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