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Coming of Age in Community – Mira Tieman Turns 18, and we celebrate!

Our teenagers keep growing, and soon the oldest ones will no longer be teens. Mira Biddle Tieman, first baby of a member born since Earthaven began, spent as much time living at Earthaven as her Mom, Tara, could conjure, while living and working in Asheville the rest of the time. They traveled together around the globe, and Mira was homeschooled for many years.

More recently, Mira moved between her Dad, Jim’s, house and Mom’s place at Westwood Cohousing, until Mira moved into a yome on the property of her new mentor, Marston Blow.

Mira turned 18 in March, and with her Mom’s encouragement began designing an “initiation” ceremony she decided to hold at her home in the forest. Old and new friends joined in for blessings and to share beloved and precious memories. Girlfriends sang songs written for the occasion; later, the whole company lifted Mira up and sang Mira, you are beautiful/Mira, you are strong/So wonderful to be with/We’ll help you carry on… (the song we sing for new members).

Right: Mira and Steve sing and dance to the Galaxy Song, which he taught her many years ago, while Mom gets a closeup.

Later, a silent walk to the grove at Hidden Valley led to more songs and a storytelling circle.

(Left: That’s Mira on the right.)

Tara reported Mira felt honored by the “awesome send-off ” and the demonstration of support for her journey. The only sad note (if any) is knowing Mira belongs to the world now, and isn’t planning to spend the bulk of her 20s helping to grow the community we hope she’ll nevertheless to return to.

Teenagers have always been the scarcer of age groups at Earthaven, so we got a nice surprise recently when Tricia and John Baehr (right,with 16-year-old twins Birke and Brandt and 13-year-old sister Bailey) told us they’ve decided to stick around and become Full Members. They’ve been both residents and neighbors since 2012, and have added so much good energy to the community.

Though the long-term residency of our teenagers is uncertain given the social and educational opportunities calling from the world, for now we often get to see eldest resident teen Dylan McBridewood and (youngest) Liefke Carwyn along with close neighbors Kayla Burstein and Katie Walters, at most social events and many games on the Village Green. Vive le adolescence!

Hidden Valley, initiation, Mira, Tara, teens

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