Why me? Why you? Why this?

by Olga Ronay

For me, High Cove began to exist about ten years ago. My husband and I had bought a cabin on ten acres of land in the mountains of North Carolina – every Floridian’s dream. We got there as often as our jobs allowed. One day as we prepared to make the trip back to Florida we sat in our rockers on the deck, overlooking the forest and breathing the cool air. “ Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just stay here,” said John. Yes, it would be great. We started thinking about how we could make a living. He’s a college teacher, so we thought about the various schools in the area. And me, I could do any odd job. We rocked. We daydreamed. We rocked some more.

And then I thought, What’s wrong with this picture? This cabin is on a remote hillside. We have no close friends or family nearby. It’s a ten-mile drive on a mountain highway to hear live music. It’s a fifteen-mile drive on an even twistier road to hear music and get a beer. What if we had kids? They’d have to wait on the side of the road for the school bus to take them to the next village for school. How would they go to see their friends? It became clear that what seemed like paradise during our brief visits had some problems as a way of life. And then I thought: I’m a city planner. How about creating a place here amidst the natural beauty and culture of this area, where friends and family can walk, and gather, and share the forest and the stars, instead of living in rugged isolation.

This dream led us to others who shared this desire. First Richard, then David, and Anne, and Dan. And Tom. In dreams begin responsibilities. We spent years looking for the right piece of land. It was frustrating at times, but we kept on. We got to know every community around Asheville. Sometimes it seemed like we climbed every hillside – twice. We got to meet lots of great people. We got to know one another. Really well. And so we became a community – a small, nomadic community united by a dream, and by the parts of our selves that the dream ignited. I came to realize that it wasn’t so much the making of the place, as the questions around it: What do you really want to do? Who do you want to do it with?

Now we have land, and a neighborhood, and plans, and roads. John and I are going to build a house soon.

Here’s where you come in. I have watched this community grow each time someone new joins in. These energies, these perspectives, these desires are what makes the place. I may have started this, but I am becoming a piece of a whole that is far bigger than me, a whole that resembles me, but is different in ways I never could have imagined. It is delightful to see, to be part of. And so I look forward to coming to know the people who will shape this place, and to the ways it will take shape. Perhaps you are one of them.

And so I ask you: What do you really want to do? Who do you want to do it with?

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