Move-in is right around the corner. Quite literally, we're on the home stretch. To see construction nearing the finish line, with a new home, a new community, and new neighbours on the horizon... I just can't find a word to accurately sum up that feeling!
Mike and I dreamed up this project in the fall of 2011, only a few months after we started dating. It's hard to believe that Radiance Cohousing has been a part of our relationship - a part of who we are - for seven years! It has been one of the most tremendous journeys I've ever been on.
This project has connected me with a group of incredible change-makers - people who are committed to creating healthy relationships, supportive communities, and a more sustainable world. I feel honoured to have gained so many wonderful friendships and collaborators throughout this process. My life is so much richer with them in it.
To my very-soon-to-be-neighbours, who came together to not only build a home but to create a community, you are incredible. I can't thank you enough for sticking it out over the years, especially during the past year and a half, which has felt like the longest, hardest stretch of the project. Not only did you make this project possible, but you did it with laughter, determination, finesse, and fine cooking :) I can't wait for what comes next and for meeting our new neighbours in West Industrial, Riversdale, Pleasant Hill, and King George.
To past Radiance members and Wolf Willow residents, while you may not be moving into Radiance, you are still a part of it. Your ideas, vision, support, and contributions have all shaped this project into what it is today. Your belief in the ability to transform an idea into a reality is what kept us going over the years.
To our friends and family, your support has made a world of difference. We can't imagine having done this without you. I apologize that so many of our conversations over the past 7 years have revolved around housing - I promise we'll have other things to talk about in the future :)
A special thank you to Crystal Bueckert with BLDG Studio, Jeff Espeleta with Renew Development Cooperative, the entire crew on site, and Peter Harbin with New Community Credit Union. Thank you for being so great to work with, and thank you for helping us bring our vision to life. We would not have a project without you.
And to Mike - where would I/we/Radiance be without you? Thank you for leading the way and showing us all what's possible. Thank you for putting your heart, mind, and soul into this project. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to sustainability and community-building. And thank you for being the best collaborator and adventure partner I could ever ask for.
I believe that all people should have the opportunity to live in a sustainable, welcoming, and caring community. And while Radiance doesn't solve the larger issues at play in our city, the experience has shown me where many of the barriers exist and introduced me to people, procedures, and policies that stand in the way of change. These barriers are still out there doing what they do best: maintaining the status quo; making up convincing arguments that progress is not possible; and saying no to innovation. Whether unintentional or not, I believe that these attitudes are holding back our community. They're holding back people, projects, and ideas. They're allowing continued damage to the environment to occur. I hope to continue to find ways (with others) to bring down these barriers so that doing good work in our community isn't so damn hard.
To all of you who are tackling barriers, working through challenges, and supporting opportunities for change - thank you. You’re such a huge source of support and inspiration and I want you to know that you’re all making a difference (even if you don’t always feel that you are).
So, what's next? Moving in, which could be as early as 5 weeks away, will conclude such a huge chapter in my life. It represents a time of transition, not just into a new house, but into a renewed way of living. While I'm not entirely sure what that looks like yet, I look forward to dreaming up what comes next from the comfort of my new home.