It Takes A Village: How One Mom is Making Dreams of Community Come True
by Courtney Clay
Most of us have heard the ubiquitous saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” After my son was born, my experience as a mother drove this truth deeply into my awareness. For many years, I have cherished a vision in the deepest places in my heart of living on a beautiful, spacious piece of land with my family and closest friends, surrounded by lush forest gardens, pristine springs, rivers and ponds, diverse wildlife, the best food ever, cozy handmade earth homes, community support, love, laughter, joy, singing, dancing and celebration. My son was first conceived in my imagination in the midst of this greater vision. Alive in my vision of motherhood was just me, then there were two. My community is coming alive, and it can for you too!
Seeds of Love
When I was a little girl, my friends were already dreaming of the day when they would get married and have children… My aspirations were always in other areas. I remember feeling no interest whatsoever in having children until soon after I met my husband, and began imagining living a lifestyle of nature-based, sustainable community. Then… During a vivid and powerful imagination session, where the colors, sounds, and sensations of my community and nature were coming to life as never before, I suddenly saw two children. MY children. I instantly loved them and desired them, and their images made a home in my heart. Four months later, my husband and I conceived our son.
At the time I became pregnant, we had yet to create the community of our dreams into our outer world experience. My pregnancy was mainly wonderful and blissful, but there were often times when I felt urgency and panic with such pressing need to manifest our vision before our son was born. We traveled, soul-searched, land-searched, and soon before his birth, settled into renting a nice home on some acreage in the country. This would have to do for now.
I gave birth to him in our home, with only my husband and my mother present. I stayed home (literally didn’t travel anywhere in a car for 6 months), and kept my son home, for most of the first year of his life. My parenting ideals seemed rare and highly discerning, and I had yet to meet anyone who shared my particular view of parenting, so early on, we were alone in nature most of the time. This was a beautiful time, and it was often terribly lonely. I longed for like-minded friends and community, and this feeling intensified as my son grew into a toddler. I prayed, cried, and prayed some more. I asked God for a best friend to share my life with, who is also the mother of a young child and who shares my parenting philosophy.
Two is Company
Ask, and ye shall receive! Very soon after my sincerely felt desire and request, I discovered that one of my long-time friends was pregnant. I was desperate for connection and friendship, so I initiated contact with her, and we started visiting weekly. She soon gave birth to a boy, a year after my son was born. Our friendship grew deeper as we visited regularly and supported each other through the intense and challenging first couple years of mothering. Our families grew closer, and now at age 2.5 and 3.5, our sons are best friends and inseparable!
Being with them and raising our children together is bringing me the beginnings of the blissful, happy, supported, celebratory feelings we are all meant to feel when we raise our children in like-minded community! When we’re together, somehow our days flow so harmoniously, and our children are happy, self-directed, and engaged in their exploration and play. It is also far easier to raise our children in the compassionate, natural ways that both of our families aspire to. IT JUST FEELS RIGHT! It really does take a village, and we are creating the beginning of OUR village.
We still hold our vision of manifesting our land and community, and now we are doing it together. When two or more people are aligned and focused on the same vision, it can come into our reality far more quickly and powerfully. We are now creating a foundation for our community in our feelings and daily experience, which will grow into more families and physical land as our vision strengthens and matures. My next child, from my original vision, will be born into this at the perfect time.
Joy in Motherhood: Believe!
I often receive heartfelt (and sometimes desperate) questions from new mothers who are choosing to raise their children consciously and naturally, about how I stay sane and happy while being so involved in raising my child (attachment parenting, unschooling, etc.) without reliance on modern-day artificial nannies such as day care, television, computers, and “entertainment” toys in large quantities. I recognize how isolated and overworked parents are in our culture, and this helps me deeply understand some of the reasons why so many parents choose and encourage these things for their children. The only way I can raise my child the way I choose to, while also keeping my own cup filled, is with my (presently small) village. I am not supermom. I can’t do it all, and I have no desire to. At the times I have tried, we have all suffered.
If you are a mother and you currently long for your own like-minded village of caring and supportive friends…. ask for it. Pray for it. Cry if you have to. You do not have to settle for the shortcomings of our culture, which are particularly harsh for families who aspire to natural parenting. You, dear mother, deserve to have your cup filled to overflowing with all the good things you desire! You and your child can both be happy and fulfilled, simultaneously. You can have love, laughter, fun, friendship, rest, contemplation, and enough time left over to pursue your passions! Decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you. I wish for you the greatest blessings your heart has ever whispered to you. Happy Mother’s Week!
Are you somewhere on your journey to nature-based, simple living with your children in a community? Are you leaving the world of shopping malls and packaged food to give your children a more priceless gift? Check out our Healthy Homesteader course which will guide and instruct you in sustainable and healthy homesteading for your family.
Have you had a similar experience to Courtney? Are you finding your village? Share with us how you were able to reach out and find like-minded souls, becoming active in a community!
Meet Courtney Clay
Courtney Clay is an ecstatic woman, a truth finder, nature lover, adoring mama, wild food forager, raw chocolatier, and superfood & superherb elixir alchemist. Through the past 10 years, her communion with nature and fresh raw food has awakened her natural state of ecstasy, aliveness, passion, awe, and attunement to the subtleties of life. She is blessed to be the mother of a vibrant 3-year-young boy named Cedar, and wife of her beloved Isaac. She writes a blog called Ecstatic Woman, on exploring life’s natural ecstasy through nature connection, ecstatic foods, conscious parenting and empowered living. http://EcstaticWoman.com