Posted by: terrapraeta | October 30, 2009

Meadowlark, Solar Pimping and Progressive Communities

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
It’s my life
It never ends
Funny how I blind myself
I never knew
If I was sometimes played upon
Afraid to lose
I would tell myself what good you do
Convince myself

Talk Talk, It’s My Life

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with several friends that I have come to know via an online forum over the last several years.

First stop was in Lincoln Nebraska to meet, for the first time, my friend Adam, part owner of Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso. Meadowlark has been a topic of discussion over the five years since he began it for one very simple reason. Adam embraced Dan Quinn’s idea of “tribal business” and decided to take a chance and make it work. He tells me they have had to stay focused on practical concerns, so that when the ideal isn’t working they can move past it. But that actually makes me feel really good about what they are doing: ideals are nice, but give me practical solutions any day. The other thing that made me feel really good was a very simple statement he made as we discussed the shop: “Coffee houses aren’t about coffee – they’re about people sitting down, face to face and talking.” So next time you’re in Lincoln, stop and have a coffee – and stick around for a conversation.

Once I arrived in the Chicago area, I headed over to visit Jim and Kath. I first met Jim at IshCon 2004 in Richmond Indiana. I first met Kath standing on her porch a couple months later. Good people, good times… and always a good meal, since cooking is half the fun! We got to spend the evening and Jim and I also had breakfast and chat in the am. They seem to have come a long way with their short term goals, Jim has their house fully decked with solar and uses that as a basis for talking sustainability with people. I’d say they have established their “beachhead” from which to launch phase two… but they have yet to find a phase two that calls to them. But I’m not worried because I got the distinct impression that when they run across something that calls to them, they will be ready to answer that call. Not dissimilar from my own situation right now, although we arrived here by different means and priorities.

My last night in the midwest, I took a drive up into the land of cows and cheese: Madison to be specific. I still find Madison to be one of the most progressive communities I have ever had the opportunity to experience. My friend Dayna is a long time resident and I met here at that same Ishcon conference where Jim and I first met. She has always been very involved in the progressive community there, but for a time she was feeling like it wasn’t enough. Now, it sounds like she is enjoying her life once more, finding fulfillment in the things she is able to do. I’m very happy for her, though sometimes I think she wears herself too thin. She agrees. I think the night I was there was one of those moments when she needed a break, but ever resourceful, she invited a friend of hers to join us for dinner and then prompted us into a heavy discussion that lasted through dinner. It was fun. It’s been a while since I have gotten to exercise my debate skills and I was rather pleased to find that I was able to get on top of it. Of course, her friend was one of those rare people that will allow you to finish a thought without interruption. Blessed Be.

It’s always good to see old friends. And even better when you find those friends are doing well in their lives. In every way, the trip and the visits were rejuvenating and fulfilling. What more could I ask from vacation?



  1. Oh my gods… after finding the link to the Ishcon video… I watched it and so many memories returned… put a big ol’ grin on my face 🙂


  2. Took the words right outta my mouth! And when Chris turned the camera on me, asking his standard question (on the last day) I burst into tears!


  3. That was the day I had to run away — almost literally — because the emotional intensity of the goodbyes just floored me. It had been a long time since I’d really…. felt.

    Its good to be back:-)

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