The History of Mesa Life
Vision and Guidance April 2004
In April 2004, guidance came just before dawn at a Sacred Fire for Deanna Jenné to start a co-housing community on the land in which this fire was held. The journey began. The goal to embrace a way of life in balance with the natural world brought twenty-five people together to birth the project. With its roots in ancient wisdom, ancestral shamanic tradition and deep connection they explored the “concept” of living in community where deep learning and inner struggle, relationships and inter-dependence were topics of discussion.
Creating Momentum 2005-2006
For the first two years, the group gathered monthly to explore water issues, land access, roads, off-the-grid building, county laws, living in community, non-violent communication, money, raising animals and legal structures. Dreaming provided possibiities. Over time lives changed with doors opening in other directions and a few were left wondering how to continue the sacred commitment to the Mesa Life Project.
Just as water in the ocean recedes after a big crashing wave, the same happened for Mesa Life. The project seems to have developed a life of its own while new ideas were birthed and old ones died. Yet, the heart and vision of the project has remained strong as we create a demonstration village to live sustainability in the tumultuous times ahead. Knowing this, we look to the future of children and grandchildren frolicking in the natural world where life is informed by ancestral wisdom and each generation lives considering our actions today.
Making a Bold Move 2006-2007
Similar to the guidance Deanna received to build an intentional community on the Grand Mesa, after the exodus of most of those working on the project, she and husband Gary Weidner, were again guided, this time to “make a bold move”. The two and the Reids were alone with plans, no people and little financial means. The Reid family had moved to the New York Catskills to manage the Blue Deer Center. “Make a bold move” meant to secure land. In July, Chris Schlake and Paige Lieberman from California, showed up with a similar dream. They wanted to start a community from scratch with like hearted souls. Brad Amelino from California also heard about the project in Plant Spirit Medicine class a year earlier and became a player in community building.
We began to search for people who were ready to make a commitment and purchase 80 acres of Spring Creek Ranch, near Mesa, CO. By the end of the Summer, people stepped forward, Deanna and Gary, Paige and Chris, Brad, Michael, Kathy and Justin. On October 27, 2006, we bought the land and the dream began to be realized.
Together we made up the Development Team. This team of dedicated members worked hard on in areas to bring a community like this forth…including the fun and interesting personal growth and relationship deepening.
Continuing on the Path 2008
In February of 2008, Jennie Davis from Asheville, North Carolina and Lenna Kitterman of the Hudson River Valley of New York joined. We dedicated our time to developing Operating Agreements, Share Structure, Membership process, a Master Plan, house designs, and relationship building with our local and county officials. We’ve envisioned having a nature based school, a youth initiative for young adults to learn and experience community building first hand, and to have a place for people to age and die peacefully. Our members continue their education in their professions in teaching, hospice nursing, midwifery, body awareness and movement, healing and the culinary arts.
Growing in Strength 2009-2012
Others are involved in men’s and women’s work and healing gender issues as well as learning to mediate conflict through work with Global Process Institute and consensus decision making. Gary and Rick Clark, a local builder, spent a month at EcoNest Co., Living Sanctuaries near Santa Fe, New Mexico in June of 2009 to learn the clay-straw and timber frame building techniques. This type of construction will be used for dwellings and structures. We hired consultants in conscious land development, architectural design, alternative septic and grey water system design, permaculture, alternative building, and photovoltaic systems to bring forth the first house to be built on the land in 2012.
Now we opening our doors to prospective members of our village.
As we move forward, we plan to offer a learning experience of building and living in a consensus community centered around the universal spirit of fire.