A Tale of Living in a Thriving Community

June 24, 2014

Paco and Celia park their car under a solar-covered overhang and gather up their groceries and their daughter, Esperanza. They walk down the granite path to their new home in a Thriving Communities eco village. Once inside the gate, Esperanza sees her friend Mateo and breaks free of her mother’s grasp. Celia smiles, knowing that little Esperanza will be safe and happy playing in the inner courtyard of the complex with Mateo and the other children. 

Arms loaded with groceries, Celia touches her thumb to the entry pad by the front door for effortless entry. As the couple puts away their purchases, they can smell the fresh flowers on the kitchen counter because the air is clean and fresh. Even though their condominium is new, there is no “new” smell from toxic building materials or cabinet finishes. In fact they have already noticed that the whole family feels better after having moved out of their old apartment. Finished with unpacking, they head down to check in on Esperanza and harvest some fresh kale from the community garden. They see Jeff and Jennifer there planting young tomato and zucchini starts. The couple decides to contribute some tomatillo plants to the plot when they have a chance. With a little encouragement from Jennifer, they agree to offer a summer class in making tomatillo salsa. 

Jeff and Jennifer, an older couple, picked Thriving Communities as the perfect place to downsize and retire. They did not want to live with seniors only and enjoy living in a place where there is a mix of ages and cultural backgrounds.  They also enjoy living in a community where everyone looks out for one another. This helps them feel safe as they think about the challenges of getting older. They are comforted knowing that their home is being well looked after by the neighbors when they are away on their annual cruise.

An avid gardener, Jeff has taken on the community garden as his baby. It is an “open” garden in that everyone who loves to plant plants, everyone who loves to weed weeds, everyone who loves to harvest eats fresh produce that evening. Combining his talents and abundant free time, Jeff is in heaven planting and tending without worrying about who is going to eat all those tomatoes and zucchini when they get ripe. 

Jody breezes by the garden on her way to the community center. She teaches an evening yoga class there every Wednesday.  A single, young professional, she loves the flexibility and technology incorporated into the design of Thriving Communities homes. Jody doesn’t need a lot of space, so she chose to live in a studio. Even though it is only 400 sq. ft., her condo feels much larger. The floor plan allows her to functionally separate bedroom and living spaces and the high ceiling makes the place feel light and airy. On the road a lot, Jody loves regulating the temperature of her condominium from her computer so it feels perfect when she walks in from a week away. It is important to Jody that she lives lightly on the earth, and the one-planet construction, net-zero energy and grey water system make her heart sing. 

Already there, waiting for class are Ellen, Maria, Jill, Jorge and Patel. Jill leads the class in a 5-minute meditation so they can all quiet down from their day and be ready for Jody’s instruction. When Jody is traveling, Ellen leads the class. None of them certified instructors, the group has developed a gentle “we are all here to help each other” attitude that leaves lots of room for contribution and laughter. The upstairs activity space is used for classes and play of all sorts; from leggo construct-a-thon to toddler tumbling to knitting circle to Friday night movies. 

These are just a few of the people who love living in a Thriving Community and the ways they play together. You are invited to join them for a richer life, a friendlier neighborhood, and a better world.