Diana Sullivan, Germantown Commons (Nashville TN)
“I feel different,” Essie said quizzically as she stood in front of her new condo in Germantown Commons, “I'm not dressing up as much as before.”
We had just started moving in to the brand new homes completed in August 2015. Germantown Commons is a 25 home cohousing community one mile from downtown Nashville And is surrounded by historic Victorian homes, cobblestone sidewalks with little white picket fences. The community is walkable to a coffee and chocolate shop and more than a dozen nice restaurants.
Essie was talking about how she had no reason to dress up and leave the property. She was enjoying so much wandering around in our community and chatting with all of her neighbors.
But, it didn't take long to start hearing in the community the whispering comments of 'why did he park there?' or 'who does she think she is to say that?' These are the moments when you realize you're living together and learning more about one another.
Yet, underneath the minor conflicts from time to time there's a joy found in this community. We hear it when the window is open and a group gathered outside is laughing, a baby is squealing or someone just drops in for no reason. Or, when someone is pleasantly surprised to ask for a ride to the airport and get more than one offer to assist.
Last month this quote was found in Graham Meltzer's book and describes the journey, “Sustainable Community, Learning from the Cohousing Model”:
“Our lives were once compartmentalized...colleagues at work, friends and family, all separate. Here too, at the beginning, our rhythms were disparate. There was little resonance within the community. But as time has gone on, that has grown. Our lives have merged together and are now more in sync. It's an unconscious process.”
In the newest cohousing community of Nashville, the residents of Germantown Commons have embraced their journey together.