It was with much thought and deliberation, but I decided to leave Lost Valley and put in my notice after living onsite for about seven months. There were various reasons that influenced my decision, but what it essentially boiled down to was wanting to explore the world of sustainability and community outside of Lost Valley, and have more opportunities to learn and practice permaculture.
But before I left Oregon and returned to Texas to figure out my next moves, I packed this month with final adventures and finished some projects!
For Christmas, I gave Avery a coupon for ‘one project of her choice’ (which didn’t require money and was approved by the community). It took some time for her to think about what she wanted as her project, but she came up with a great idea – a living willow structure! We talked about what she wanted and where she wanted to put it, and decided to build her a small amphitheater by the offices/classrooms where her mom was working as the new site manager and it could also be used as an outdoor classroom space. Ashley came to visit one day this month from her work-trade at Dharmalaya, and volunteered to help me build the structure for Avery. We spent several hours planting and weaving willow into a large semi-circle dome, and used zip-ties for additional support, which would eventually breakoff once the willow structure grew bigger and matured.