SunDial Tribe @ Cascadia. New Myth #48
by Willi Paul,


The old train watch tower in the center of the Tribe circle and food forest was retrofitted over ten years ago with a lighthouse lens from a Bolinas, CA antique store. Legend has it that good spirits came with the 305 lb. orb, a beacon that generates more than shadows and a safe path home.  The “Watch Tower” as the Tribe calls it, is a copy of a Detroit rail road look-out hut that was manned in support of human track switching much preferred over an electronic hand (and mandated by local law).


The tower has a three-part functionality:

(A) Light / Shadow Beacon – During a sunny Cascadia day the structure spills a shadow on rough stone bollards and around the sundial so the community can orchestrate their schedules and chores. At night, a security light shines in four directions to help guide travelers and vendors.

(B) Pigeon Coop – guano for the garden and the traditional winged-mail

(C) Tool Locker – permaculture tools like shovels, spades, twine

In four quadrants, the food forest is mostly fruit trees with some leafy greens and flowers woven in. Adjacent to the circular food forest, four outer land uses have been established:

(A) Horse Corral – these animals include donkeys and pull the small carts on the rail way.

(B) Compost Mill – including the pigeon guano, horse manure and human waste for soil making and barter.

(C) Food Production – honey bees are here as is tofu and jam making spaces,

(D) Barter’s Market – Tribes share more than their neighbor’s food at the weekly Sunday market!

Their oasis or Tribal hub is sandwiched on the north and south sides of the property by rail tracks that go east or travel west to the coast.

plan new myth #48


Helios: “But I still don’t how light is emanating from that tower every night! There is no power source”

Rache: “Surely there are some things that even a big time permaculturist can’t explain!”

The Tribe has its share of irascible teenagers and these two are the driving contours of their click. Helios loves to care for the large animals and earns riding chits almost daily. The integration of the Tribe’s horses as transportation engines, and in the compost chemistry, are legend. Rache, more a people person with a sharp eye and smile for barter and quality in general. Many see these two on the Tribal Council some day.

As the SunDial Tribe retrofitted the rail way, many unforeseen communication and commerce opportunities were discovered and “rolled-out.” Library books now come and go back thru a loaner program from Eugene. Fish from the Pacific and inland streams go to market once or twice a month. Letters and packages go on rails.

During harvest rituals, the SunDial is lit with bee wax candles and turned in to a dance space. Meals are eaten on the four paths and songs are performed from the high room in the tower.

lighthouse lens

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  • For some reason I just feel like posting this link here:

    • Can't wait to invent the future?
    • I use on my profile a quote from here: (Shaping Your Own Life by Jeanne Peijnenburg).

      What would happen if…? I don’t know. Perhaps something that looks to me as a misstep or failure is just the needed change of direction. Or not. Considering for instance the article mentioned in this comment, it seems like I’m not alone in my way of thinking, though it doesn’t mean that I’m right. Things are just happening to me. I came here and became a member when I was looking for an author of an article (I still haven’t reached him) and now I know that ecopsychology is a thing and I am writing this comment. It’s like killing two flies without even trying. Do I have any expectations from this situation? Even if I did have, the outcome wouldn’t be as planned.

      I’m already pushing it too hard with this comment. Bye. 

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