Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to tour CoHo. Luck had it that it was also a “work day” event for the members and we asked if we could help them. Upon arriving we were greeted by members who were beginning to join in a circle outside of their common house where the lists of chores were read aloud for us to pick what we wanted to do. Each chore had a lead that would explain what was being done and where to go to get the materials and tools to do the job.
We worked for a little over an hour and between the six of us we built a trail using bark mulch that extended beyond the main path. It was great to accomplish something with people we hardly knew. It didn’t take long to know that we were all there to share what we know and help with what we could.
After the tour and learning more about the history of Coho, visitors who worked were treated to a meal that was prepared in the common house by participating members and children of the community. We were pleasantly surprised by the manners of the children as they ate and the level of enthusiasm while they helped with the chores of the day.
The meal was one of splendor complete with sunflower sprouts that grew from seeds on their property and homemade juices. We felt welcomed at their table where we all sat engaged in serious conversation as well as laughter and silliness. To us it all made sense because it was real.
One of the many things we learned was the amount of time and energy that was spent building relationships around all age and ability levels. The property was built with the compassion for the disabled as well as the elders and the youth. From a mom just moving in that was 101 years young to a recent birth; the community supported people from all walks of life.
Hopefully going forward we can be of more help to each other perhaps in ways we yet to know and we both feel better for going and getting involved with others who are trying to live a more simple life sharing and caring about the earth and the resources we’ve been given as well as each other.