Every couple of years the university, which owns the land on which our community stands, comes along and starts making threats. We have to leave, they say. They need this parcel of land, they say. But it has never panned out. Bluffs? Maybe. At least a couple of times the money for their proposed project has run out. And once about four years ago, just when I was moving in, they relocated half of our Wagenplatz to a plot of land in the middle of a field about a kilometer away. But this year they were serious. And it looks like we might be moving.
At the beginning most of the group was skeptical. The uni had threatented so many times before, why should we get our panties in a bunch this time? But after a number of meetings and negotiations we are working on a pre-contract for moving the Wagenplatz. I don’t know exactly when, but it appears that sometime in the next year or so our community will be moving to a spot in the field next to what used to be our other half. After over twenty years of successful squatting of this parcel of land we will be entering into a much more rigid (it is assumed) agreement with the university about our rent, about what we can and cannot do with out little piece of green. What will happen to Haus Mainusch is still uncertain.
One of the biggest issues is that the land they want to move us to is not green at all. Currently a field, it will take years before any trees grow big enough to provide any shade. The first spring we’ll be living in a puddle of mud. A windy, shadeless frying pan. It was one of the reasons that a lot of people were (are) so adverse to the offer in the first place.
Yet I find myself looking forward to it. I’ve always found change cleansing in that “new start” sort of way. I was one of the few who was ok with the idea of moving from the beginning, and I’m glad that we are being offered a replacement parcel of land, that the Beard and I won’t have to leave entirely because I wouldn’t feel comfortable living with Baby Pickles with the threat of eviction hanging over our heads. Police have compacted people’s Wagens right before their eyes in the past. I don’t know if I am strong enough to handle that kind of wait-it-out situation alone, but I am not strong enough to handle it with a baby in tow. Nor do I want to be. So there’s that.
But when I think of leaving this parcel of land, of the university building yet another one of their borg-ship constructions on it, I feel sad. We can move. but what about the snails, the birds, the hedgehogs? They won’t be offered a new parcel of land, and whoever survives will be forced to squeeze into the ever decreasing bits of greenery. When we move, I will mourn the walnut tree who has taken so many years to reach such majesty, whose fruits have fed us, could feed us in an emergency, and which they will cut down as if it was just a bowling pin to be struck down in sporting whim.