Today, a gloriously sunny day, we were #blessed with the opportunity to sleep in hours later than usual because of a *supposedly* impending massive black cloud bringing a major rain storm–It barely rained at all, but sleeping in until 10 am sure felt nice for a crew of tired, worked bodies.
We started the day with a meeting to attempt to reach consensus surrounding the design of our quaint straw bale building–what the “truth window” should look like (a glass pane peering into the true ingredients of our walls, in case there are any visiting sceptics), what sculptures, if any, should be etched into the final coat of adobe, potential designs to cut into the rake boards, etc. Surprisingly enough, our group didn’t make any concrete decisions, which maybe isn’t so surprising if you had attended our 3-hour long class earlier this year when we were trying to decide on the color scheme for our build. But, we do have a handful of our lovely art classmates diligently scribbling designs into their sketchpads to be voted on in the morning.
When we returned to the site this afternoon, the roof team got to work, measuring length after length, discussing calculation after calculation, and yelling numbers back and forth at each other until we finally figured out how to cut and install the red oak and black cherry posts into uneven floors that will hold up trusses over uneven walls. At least we think we did. Hours and hours of work and we are just sort of confident. But we can’t back out now! Special shout out to roof team member Jack for sanding posts literally the whole time.
The rest of our awesome team spent the day mixing endless batches of adobe and applying it to the inner and outer walls of the build. When I asked a few of them how their day was I got a few different responses: “repetitive”, “good”, and “we all cried three separate times”. Something about listening to sad podcasts. From the perspective of the roof team, it seems like a very productive day all around.
I have really begun to appreciate everyone’s laughter and mutual encouragement throughout the day. I truly can’t imagine a different group of kids to do this wacky project with. At the end of the day after the sun goes down, and even after my brain goes numb and fuzzy from exhaustion, I often ponder on why I, along with this kooky group of kids, am helping to build this house of straw and clay. I am passionate about pursuing sustainable living and acting in a way in which I can have a positive impact on my own well being, my peers, and our earth with intentionality, mindfulness, and gratitude-filled reciprocity. This class has introduced me to a new space to bring this mindset to, by showing me the importance of local, cooperative, and sustainable building of the spaces and structures that we live and work in. As Robin Wall Kimmerer says in Braiding Sweetgrass, “We say that humans have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn–we must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance.” This class brings me one step closer, in a journey of many steps, to living in harmony with the earth, a brutal feat in the face of our oppressively capitalist, and therefore unsustainable, society. I could say much more on this but I am so tired that the computer screen light is pulling my eyelids shut. I feel so grateful for this land and for the humans and creatures and plants I get to share it with! Goodnight moon!