A shared vision of living

To the editor,

I often have excuses that keep me from loving this place. It costs too much to live here: there is ongoing drought; there aren’t jobs; it’s hard to make friends; and it feels superficial, narcissistic and obsessed with gear and the next cool outdoor achievement. While I think many of these things ring true if you look through a certain lens, there is also another version that resides within me that allows for more peace. I have chosen to live here in the mountains and in the desert, because of its beauty, because it’s a little hard to get to. Its expansiveness provides a sense of possibility while also inspiring fear at times. And I'd like to love this place for more than those reasons, to really find a way to feel at home – cultivating that sense of inner groundedness while feeling truly part of a community. 

I dream of working with a small group of people (maybe three to five) who want to build homes on land. Everyone can have their own home, and there can also be some shared space for gardening, leasing to a farmer or creating a community building. It’s a way to have privacy and home while also having community when it is desired, and it is a way to overcome the force of capitalism that is making this area unaffordable to so many of us.

Do others have this dream? Maybe you can reach out and a conversation could begin if you are someone interested who also has some savings, but perhaps not enough to really own much land on their own. There are models of shared land ownership out there that I think can be legally robust and not as scary as people believe, and I’m interested to learn more and explore this with some other folks to see what we can come up with. Reaching out to me isn’t a commitment, I certainly don't have all the answers, it’s a gesture of genuine interest in making something like this become a reality if it ends up making sense – and just creating a starting point for conversation. Let me know, send me an email at rileyneugebauer@hotmail.com

– Riley Neugebauer, Durango