The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Our common house is almost complete. Step into the open and bright dining room, commercial kitchen, plus three more wonderful rooms for woodworking, crafts and to be determined. All this plus a lounge where we can gather for our morning coffee, warm ourselves at the masonry stove while we catch up on the daily news and share our stories with friends.
We are excited to announce that our first closings at Rocky Corner are scheduled for June! Counting the days till we close is an understatement. Rocky Corner has been a labor of love for many years, and we are grateful to those who have been working ceaselessly to make our vision of cohousing finally come to fruition.
Rocky Corner is an ecovillage, with thirty energy-efficient homes clustered in the center of a thirty-three acre organic farm. Conserving most of our land, sharing food, sharing the common house, sharing vehicles and using sociocracy as our governance model defines who we are. Bethany, Connecticut, is five miles from New Haven, a lively cultural hub. We have recreational hiking trails just outside our doors and cultural events just down the road. As the first cohousing neighborhood in Connecticut, Rocky Corner is attracting people from within the state as well as from New York and Massachusetts and as far away as California.
We spent Sunday, May 4, working on the garden-planting potatoes and garlic. The fields are ready for more work and we are anxious for our first crop.
Meet two of our soon-to-be Rocky Corner Residents!
Shanee: I was born in Boston, MA. My family moved to the suburb of Newton when I was a toddler. Worcester, MA, where I went to college, was an important influence in my life, as was a six-month internship at an ecumenical anti-apartheid center in South Africa in the mid-1980s. I became a clinical psychologist in my mid-30s and worked in several locations in the US (DC, Denver, Boston, and primarily NYC), both in the public sector (schools, clinics, etc.) and private practice. I also worked internationally in contexts of ethnic and political violence, including over 2.5 years as the psychologist for the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone and two years as psychologist/trainer with Center for Victims of Torture (an NGO), first in the refugee camps of Guinea (serving mostly Liberians) and later in a clinic in Jordan (mainly with Iraqis). I am a registered poetry therapist and mentor/supervisor in poetry therapy, and hold a MFA in creative writing from The New School. I have taught at several universities but have not felt drawn toward a mainstream academic career path. In recent years I have reinvented myself as a late-blooming literary scholar: writing (hopefully) original interpretations of classic novels and submitting these for publication in scholarly journals (with some success). I was living and working in Sierra Leone when I met my daughter Yana, who was 7 at that time. I first became her guardian and then legally adopted her. I have been raising her in the US since she was 11, while at the same time doing our best to maintain a soulful connection to her homeland and birth family. After living in a cramped apartment in New York City’s East Village, we moved to a small town in rural western Maine in 2016. Yana entered her first year at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and I combined teaching and practicing psychology with becoming a student again, immersing myself deeply in English and American literature, and earning a BA in English at the University of Maine (just completed). I love the Great American Songbook (listening, as well as singing), theater (mostly as an audience member, but I have also acted in several community theater productions with the Sandy River Players here in Maine), reading (primarily contemporary poetry and classic novels), and travel (worldwide). I’m excited to move to Rocky Corner because of the warm, friendly, and caring future-neighbors; the proximity to nature; the chance to spend time with new friends without having to drive anywhere; our beautiful newly-built house; and the chance to be less than 2 hours from NYC and only 15 min from New Haven while also having the simple pleasures, peacefulness, and human connections of a small rural town which we’ve learned to cherish in Maine.
Yana: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and came to the US with my mom, Shanee, when I was 11. My major hobbies are reading (a wide range), creative writing, dance, and art (drawing, painting). I also like track/field and tennis. I enjoy travel: my mom and I have taken some wonderful trips during summer vacations. I first learned to cook at age 6, and have been cooking ever since. I make a mean matzo ball soup, and have also experimented with the cuisines of Korea, Morocco, and other nations, in addition to West African dishes. I live a mostly secular life but am spiritually conscious and have cultural ties to all three Abrahamic religions, i.e., Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, a fact of which I am proud and which I hope can facilitate building bridges across differences, which is one of my core values. I am known as an “animal whisperer” (including but not limited to cats, dogs, and hens) because animals gravitate toward me and I love them in return. However, my mom has refused to let me get a pet. Therefore, I look forward to spending time with animals at Rocky Corner. In mid-May 2020 I will graduate from Wesleyan University, where I have majored in French Studies and got to spend my spring semester of my junior year in a study-abroad program in Paris. I am fluent in my native language (Temne) as well as in Krio (lingua franca of Sierra Leone) along with English and French, and am near-fluent in Spanish. Since March 9 when Wesleyan switched to distance learning, I’ve been at home with my mom in western Maine where we both do everything within our power to stay safe and well by going out only if there’s a compelling need, wearing masks, and physical distancing (we prefer the term “physical” distancing” to “social” distancing because we feel it’s more accurate). I’m excited to move to Rocky Corner co-housing because I know I will enjoy the natural beauty, the gardening, and connecting with new people. I also like the design of our new home. I am planning to find a job in CT starting in summer 2020. By the way, please don’t ask me what I plan to do with the rest of my life because right now I’ve yet to finish my final exams!