Making a mountain of a mole hill has been tremendously exciting for me this year! I took a vacation in December, and came back hoping to jump on the Study Circle train; I was sorely disappointed when I discovered that I was a little bit too late to join the Wolfeboro group. G.A.L.A. Director Josh had a life-changing suggestion in store for me, however.
“It’s too bad that you can’t make this Study Circle work,” he said, “but how would you feel about hosting one of your own?”
What a great idea! I thought, but I don’t really know anyone outside of the G.A.L.A. community who would want to study sustainability… do I? So I reached out to 25 of my closest friends, people of all ages with varied interests, careers, family structures, etc. I asked Josh what the “minimum” attendance for a Study Circle was, hoping I could gather at least that many people. He said fewer than 5 would be difficult, so I set my goal at 7. A week later, 15 people had RSVP’d to the first meeting at my house in Tuftonboro!
We studied Voluntary Simplicity for 8 weeks, enjoying great food (potluck-style each week), great company, and fantastic conversation. Every week someone new opened, facilitated, and closed the lesson with music, videos, visual art, and even silly games! In the end, a strong bond of friendship was formed between people who otherwise never would have met; our minds were blown each week with ways to live more simply, and a passionate desire to continue that lifestyle was ignited in all 12 of the regular members.
The story doesn’t end with our last meeting; we liked each other and the idea of learning together so much that we decided to continue our own version of “Study Circle” into the Spring and Summer with a community garden! None of us had ever grown food before, but we had learned how important food is to simplicity and had become inspired to figure it out for ourselves.
We formed committees, raised money, researched techniques, found and prepared land, and finally planted our garden! The Mountain has been created, and as the growing season progresses we will continue to work side-by-side to tend our garden, cook and eat together, and (in the fall) teach each other how to can and preserve our harvest!
The mole hill of “missing out” on a Study Circle has turned into a mountain of abundance: friendship, knowledge, food, and fun!