Both my parents immigrated separately to upstate New York in the early 60’s to start a new life and live the American Dream. In order to make their dream possible they worked odd jobs and watched TV to improve their English. Finally, they were hired as architectural interns at the same firm, met and fell in love.
My mother’s parents soon followed her from Germany and bought a little house situated along a creek surrounded by pines. We all lived there together until I was almost three.
One of my fondest memories of that time included helping my Opa, German for grandfather, in his garden. He was a quiet, slender man who left a successful nursery business behind in Berlin. Here in the States, his profession was not fully understood, but his garden was testimony to his genius. It was a symphony of color, variety and abundance.
Similar to the variety found in the garden, I grew up around people from different countries who immigrated to the USA off of boats from Ellis Island. I remember falling asleep in the hammock to the sound of music and lively conversation around the campfire.
Eventually my parents saved enough money to build their own house—one that my Dad designed. It was there that I spent the rest of my childhood until I left for Emma Willard a boarding school in Troy at age thirteen.
Now fast forward to 2010. After living alone for almost 8 years and as I rapidly approach 50, I have this acute longing to go back to some of those feelings I experienced as a young child. The feeling of being close to nature, living in a community with old and young people of diverse backgrounds– to be in a place where creativity, music, plants and love can flourish.
Is this vision of Utopia possible in a place like Phoenix? And are there others out there who desire to live in a similar way?
We are going on the road to uncover the best practices of cohousing communities that already exist bringing back information to see how we may develop something here in the desert. To uncover what might be possible when you follow your dream…