Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why Belvedere

I notice that the press wants to talk about the "green" homes in Belvedere. Everywhere there are articles about "green construction," and "eco-friendly building." Everything is going "green." The chatter seems to be about the house. But a home is more than a house, as realtor Jim Duncan has said in his outstanding blog on local real estate. And Belvedere is about more than the Earthcraft home. It is the vision of Stonehaus that keeps me in the project. As you may have gathered, I like being outside. Heck,I could probably live out there and make a shelter out of sticks and leaves and be okay, so I find all the chatter about the houses to be enough already. Let's talk about a few other things.

If I understand it correctly, Belvedere is about community, it is about people, children, nature, healthy living. There is a sound philosophy of Health and Connection to the community design: greenspaces designed to encourage children's play, trails to run and walk on, an organic garden for vegetables and delivery of other specialties, and even this soccer facility. Part of the Belvedere ethos and core values is the inclusion of the non-human world as part of the community. That really caught my eye. I have never heard of a development firm purporting to design a place for humans and plants and animals, too.

When we went and stood on our lot for the first time, Josh Goldschmidt of Churchill Homes said,you have got to like people if you are going to live here. Stonehaus and Churchill have been very excited about the sidewalks and front porches, places where people can sit and connect, "cool spaces" as they are called. They wanted parking on the street so people could connect there, too, and common green places to gather, including the Civic Core. Their design follows what is our inherent plan: humans are hardwired to connect to each other We are also hardwired to connect to nature. Belvedere is more than a home, it is a pattern of health and connection and living like this is our birthright.

My work on the land is about teaching how to connect to nature through pattern recognition, and I do that in many ways, through play, adventure, story song. I am also health practitioner trained to help heal the overwhelmed nervous system and help human beings connect to their own innate and inherent health. In the craniosacral tradition, it is called "the health in the system." Is is powerful and subtle, and I can feel it with my hands.

For me, Belvedere is about that larger pattern that is macrocosm of the inner pattern, what is balanced and right. I just attended a seminar last night about Strong Families and Communities at my son's school. We are living more isolated and disconnected than ever, and faster than ever, too. It is my hope that people moving into Belvedere will embrace the importance of building community, for each other and especially for the children. But, even if they don't, they can sit on their front porch, in their "cool space" and enjoy the view. I like that about Belvedere, too. It is completely voluntary, there is no obligation to participate. You don't have even wave at people if you don't want to, but you will still be a part of the pattern.

It's Wednesday. I am goin' tracking. See ya out there!


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