Intensely Local [was choosing a community name
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2021 19:01:23 -0700 (PDT)
Remember when we had the conversations about why people didn’t say where they 
were when they posted to Cohousing-L? The messages would be totally out of 
nowhere. I once followed a link to find out where one community was but when I 
got to their website I still didn’t know.

They did not have their address on their website!!!!!!! They didn’t even have 
the country!!!!!

I finally determined from the mountain range in the background that they 
weren’t in the US — eventually I found them in Australia.

What seemed to be happening is that people felt very personal about cohousing 
and other cohousers. It felt like everyone knew each other and it was obvious 
where your community was. People just didn’t think to say where they were.

Names are another thing that is very personal. It is only recently that there 
has been a national awareness of cohousing. It’s a turning point when so many 
communities have been developed in the last few years that we haven’t heard 
anything about on Cohousing-L. They did it without us!

Names of places are also intensely personal. It just doesn’t occur to people 
what there might be more than one Pleasant Valley with a Maine Street. Or more 
than one Capital Hill. Or a few Morristowns. The one you have is yours. 

I don’t know why Heartwood Commons chose “heartwood” but it is very likely that 
it has a personal meaning and the organizers were very attached to it before it 
even occurred to them that there might be another one anywhere.

We will probably end up with as many duplicates as they are duplicate town 
names. Every state must have a Fairview, and probably also a Fairview Springs 
and a Fairview Valley.

What we will end up with is probably Heartwood West and Heartwood Tulsa.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.”   
Nelson Mandela

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.