Commune. The word itself conjures up images of Birkenstocks, huge plates of tofu, and drum circles.
Or, at least it used to.
According to an article in the current issue of Common Ground, if those stereotypical images were ever accurate, they aren't anymore. "Our Town" describes the 21st-century commune as something completely different.
The article explores a few different types of communal living: housing co-ops, cohousing, and eco-villages.
And how are these new arrangement different than the communes of the '60s? Common Ground quotes Dave Henson, who lives in the Sowing Circle, an intentional community in Occidental, CA: "There is less focus on a specific spiritual tradition, or a specific ideology or a specific person. Now it's much more about mainstream people seeking to pool resources and share in the many benefits that a shared living setup can offer."
Communal living, the article argues, offers the everyday Joe an opportunity to plug in to a larger community (one with plenty of perks), and to do it more cheaply and more sustainably than he could ever do it alone.
But how many of us are willing to trade a bit of what Common Ground calls our "much-vaunted freedom" for a more shared lifestyle?
Image Via commongroundmag.com