A journal entry from my time at Aloha:
Oct. 20th, 2020
“I am kneeling in the upper garden, weeding the bed to prep it for winter. I stare at the sky – so beautiful yet everchanging. A different art piece every morning. This morning the clouds are strewn across the mountains like a fluffy pink blanket. The sun is streaming through the trees, a fog hanging and refracting the rays into beams of golden light across the fields. Autumn colors of yellow and orange in full flair, peeking between the dark green fir trees. The blueberry bushes catch my eye with their bright crimson red. We mulched them with cardboard and straw the day before to keep them warm for the winter. I take a deep breath of the crisp fall air. I have never felt so connected with the earth than this moment. Gratitude fills my lungs with each inhale, love pouring out with every exhale.”
I came to Aloha without many expectations… mostly because I didn’t want to create too much in my head and be disappointed if it wasn’t how I imagined. I wanted to be happy with whatever I did end up experiencing. I pretty much thought I’d be learning about farming and what living in a community is like. Also maybe get better at meditating.
I did learn all of these things. But it also gave me so much more. It gave me exactly what I didn’t even know I needed. It showed me the importance of truth, trust, transparency, togetherness and love. How to be comfortable being completely vulnerable, honest and live without judgement. To understand that we all suffer for very similar reasons. And we all have healing to do. So why not support each other on this journey that we are experiencing together?
Another thing I learned – community is an immense part of what this world is missing. It is the reason for so much pain, depression, anxiety that is on the rise every single day in this modern, fast-paced, technological world where we section off our homes and communicate to each other through screens.
We are missing the physical connection and emotional support that played a huge role in our species way of life for many, many generations when we were hunter-gatherers and lived in tight-knit tribes. We are social creatures, we are meant to be living together. These days, people don’t feel heard because they are stuck in their lonely little bubbles. They feel their problems are their own. That no one else shares them. They feel small and insignificant. Not powerful. Not understood. Community living can fix this. Now that I have lived it, I can say this with confidence.
I am so incredibly grateful. What a rare opportunity. To enter a place of strangers and feel so immediately welcomed and accepted. For a place to be my true, authentic self and be supported and honored for who I am. To be encouraged to share my unique skills and knowledge. To be surrounded by people who have not formed any preconditioned ideas of me. Just letting me be me. Listening deeply to what I have to say and hearing it. And if I ask for it, offering me small handfuls of guidance. I’ve treasured every conservation and experience I’ve had at Aloha deep within me.
Each community member brings something unique. Each special soul a vital piece – like the mycelium, plants and trees that work together to form a whole ecosystem – a living, breathing community that supports and builds each other up to create something of complete sustenance. I placed my hands on my heart here more often than I ever have because I can just feel it deep within me – the love pouring in and out of me in waves. Warmth, peacefulness, grounding.
Aloha gave me a space to go inwards. A space to connect with others. A space to ground. A space to grow. A space to let go. And if you’re still figuring yourself out, don’t you worry because it gives you space for that too. A space to “try on many hats,” as my mother would say.
I only left Aloha a month ago but I already notice myself incorporating what I learned there into my life and sharing it with others. With these new perspectives, I look forward to continuing on this journey and spreading the love. It is what the world needs.