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  • Writer's pictureBCC

Giving Thanks: Four Years and Counting!

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

"In 2016 Christine Westfall saw a for sale sign at the parcels at 608 & 610 Trent Drive."

That sentence comes from a Google Doc we maintain that chronicles the history of Bull City Commons. 

After seeing the sign (in all senses of that word), our founding members -- Christine and Judie, Jim and Maria, and Teri and Jo -- pooled their resources and closed on the purchase of the land in 2017.

And that event kicked off years of meetings, information sessions, planning, and sheer hard work on a project that would eventually become Bull City Commons.

Long-time member Dan noticed this four-year mark and posted the following to our internal Google Group:

Dan's post prompted many great responses, both of amazement at where we are today and of gratitude to the people who held the vision and stayed committed to it through tough times. Following are some selected quotes from that discussion thread.


Christine: Wowza,  four years already. Time flies when you’re creating community. 

Jen: It feels like it has been 4 years just since March. Hard to believe we joined 2 years ago next month. Woohoo to those of you who got the ball rolling 4 years ago.

Teri: Wow, can’t believe it’s been 4 years already.  Time does fly...Jo and I recently visited the site and it was amazing to think this was only a seed of a vision 4 years ago.  Almost surreal. Once we signed the contract to buy the land back then, somehow that was the day it was sealed in my mind as being done.  Still had absolutely no idea what it would take to get here. We might have gotten the ball rolling but would never have happened without the rest of you! The unfolding of seeds is truly what life is about.

Cornelia: I am in awe of people with vision like that and the passion and perseverance to see it through. I think this is what has and is inspiring all of us to work hard and give our best.

Jackie: As one of the more recent members, I am particularly impressed that you had the vision of choosing the governing form of Sociocracy and adhering to it throughout BCC's life. It made it so easy for us to fall in step and accept it as the way to work and communicate with each other, which I believe is one of our secrets to success.

Omega: Agreed, muchly & bigly (sorry) .... the core group of founders and everything they’ve done over the past few years have made us a kind and accepting group, among other things, which I really value. The first information session I went to, it was the combination of Christine and Jim that drew me in — optimism & enthusiasm combined with practical knowledge and honesty on the details. Seems like 10 years ago and only yesterday.

Christine: Omega, it's great to hear you describe BCC as a "kind and accepting" group. Creating an emotionally safe and nurturing community was a big part of our founding vision, and together we've all done that. If we keep "kind and accepting" as our guide star, I think we'll weather well all the ups and downs that communities go through.

Jim: It has been a great four years. We had been at it a year or two before that but [that] was just a trial run. A turning point for me was the [2017] National CoHousing Conference in Nashville where Maria discovered Sociocracy and I heard [a cohousing consultant] tell a room full of aspiring cohousers to not even think about self developing. She said Durham Central Park Cohousing Community just got lucky and no one could reproduce their success. I guess my stubbornness kicked in that day. Thank you to all the hard-working optimists at BCC, all of you! We made it happen together. And it’s just the beginning.


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