We celebrated two milestones at Cobb Hill this June!

First, during our monthly community meeting we took a moment to celebrate Alan Keitt’s 80th birthday. We stopped to remember some of Alan’s many contributions, including well painted buildings, the concrete floor in the machine shop, a detailed and evolving birds of Cobb Hill inventory, and much more. Rachel had made a cake (decorated with miniature song-birds) and with their usual sixth sense on such matters some of the younger kids showed up to share a piece. We had a rousing round of Happy Birthday, and Alan graciously donned the flower crown that Marie made in his honor. Alan’s next project – to be completed this summer of his 80th year: painting the chicken coop with the help of his two visiting grand-daughters!

Later the same day we gathered for a potluck to celebrate the graduation of two Cobb Hill teenagers – Henry and Jenna – from high school. After some great food (and more of Rachel’s cake) there was a sweet time for poems, stories and recollections that ranged from the deep and inspirational (T. S. Elliot’s advice on how to be a poet) to the silly (remembering the made up games Henry and his friends would play in the attic after community meals). Henry and Jenna have lived next door to each other since they were both in second grade, and now they are launching off in very different trajectories – one urban, one rural, one towards sustainability and activism and hands-on projects, one towards scholarship, analysis and writing.  The stories and reflections somehow did the perfect job of marking the milestone they have in common and the characteristics that make them both unique. Finding that balance that honors what we have common without ignoring what makes us unique isn’t always easy to find in community, but I think we hit it just right, for Jenna and Henry.