I had a dream the other night I was living in a large house with a white picket fence—it was my worst nightmare. My neighbors were faceless and I never spoke or saw anyone except my family (which in this case consisted of my husband and two children.

I haven’t a roommate in eight years (besides Freyja the feisty feline) as I get incredibly overwhelmed living in such close quarters (I blame my sorority days living with 20+ women). Yet, living alone can feel incredibly alienating and lonely at times. Enter co-housing, the answer to my separate-yet-together living prayers. Instead of commune style living or roommates, co-housing is a group of houses or apartments with their own bathrooms and kitchens but that have a common area for eating together or simply gathering for board games (the only other reason I enjoy groups of people). When I lived in Colorado there was a group of 10 houses down-town in a circle with a community house in the center. Each week they took turns cooking and ate dinner together once a week. The waiting list to move in to one of the houses was 30 years. TheHappyMovieA film called Happy came out several years ago that documented a co-housing community in Denmark and made a great case for co-housing. As mammals we are tribal animals who thrive under conditions of connection with others. In my (happy) dreams I live in a community such as this with individual houses focused upon a central area. There is the option to be around people when feeling social and to be in one’s own house when needing space. There would be a group garden we took turns tending to (that is a lot of “t”s!) and possibly chickens, goats, and horses, dogs, and of course my kitty smelling the fresh herbs in the garden. There would be between 50-60 people in the community so as to be a large enough to feel closely connected to some and also less close to others. The intention would be to live together in tribe learning about community and love. There would be children and a guest house and maybe even a red tent for women on their moon cycles. It would be within commuting distance to a city for entertainment and work opportunities. We would practice Gestalt or other psychotherapy modes, do group astrology readings, meditate, have dance parties, and even have agreements around handling conflict.  Idyllic, yes. Impossible, no. In all honesty, I’m not even sure why I’m writing this post other than to name my desire. My nightmare shook me a bit in reminding me that I don’t want the American dream, I want a dream of my own. One that sounds more idyllic and community-oriented than the one society has programmed into me…

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