Holden Voices: Blog

Poems, stories, and reflections, written by faculty, staff, and volunteers currently serving in the Village.

RACHAEL MEADORS: And to trash you shall return

May 09, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Day 56

Picture this: it’s 2017 and Holden Village is finally open after years of closure due to mine remediation and forest fire.

The kitchen hasn’t had to cook for a summer crowd in 5 years, we haven’t done garbo in ages, no one knows what biowaste is, and many staff haven’t been on dishteam. Ever. It’s chaos. Also picture this: Chance Voigt is a head cook and I, Rachael Meadors am the assistant garbologist.

And let me say that those months, for lack of a better word, were hard as heck. Chance can attest. We ran out of food at dinnertime. I found maggots in the trash and had to come across several soiled diapers. In many ways, we had forgotten how to maintain community in the midst of summer and there was a lot of heartbreak in that. But what else?

The kitchen assistants learned how I liked my tofu, I learned patience and grace and how to better orient folks to garbo team. We learned through doing and we didn’t go back to normal, we created a new (healthier, more efficient) normal.

What a gift it was to co-create with those Villagers. And what an opportunity we have here.

XO, Rachael

Rachael Meadors is Education & Program Associate at Holden Village. This column was originally published on May 9, 2020 in a daily newsletter, "The Quarantine Quarter," which is compiled by various staff members and sent to all Villagers.

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