Originally posted July 11, 2013, at Every Day an Adventure. Republished with permission of the author.
My house has undertaken a project this summer. With the help of another local community called Jerusalem Farm and some other volunteers, we have tilled the earth and planted a garden. Right now it’s teeming with life and we are looking forward to a hopefully abundant harvest. We’ve been picking lots of green beans, and there are some nice green tomatoes on the tomato plants. The zucchini is looking big and it’s starting to sprout some little zucchinis, and the onions and potatoes are showing promising signs of working their magic underground. The sunflowers are growing quite high, and one has almost reached the roof!
One of the other houses has been coming over about once a week to help us take care of the garden. They have helped pull weeds and water the plants. They’ve also been helping us pick green beans and lettuce. It’s been a fun set-up, because we get to enjoy their company, they help lighten the load of the work the garden requires, and then we share the vegetables that we harvest with them.
Tonight they were at our house helping pull weeds and pick beans. Then we started talking about music and one of the other assistants mentioned a core member’s new favorite song. So as we were working, an assistant pulled up the song on their phone and started to play it. The core member whose favorite song it was immediately got excited. He clapped his hands and let out a little squeal of excitement. Then he started to dance, right there in the side yard of our house.
It didn’t take long for me to join in the dancing. And then another core member joined in, followed quickly by a couple other assistants. Pretty soon almost everyone in our yard was dancing along to this new favorite song. When that song ended we quickly chose another one to dance to, and before you knew it there was a conga line weaving through the yard.
Neighbors walked by with their dogs and saw our little dance party. I’m sure others saw it happening from their windows or front yards. We were having a great time right there, enjoying the music and each other’s company. It started from the joy one core member experienced because of a song and it spread from there.
That is one of my favorite things about living in a L’Arche community: the joy we are blessed to experience. Sure, there are struggles and conflicts. We don’t always get along. People aren’t always happy or friendly or nice. But right then, in the yard beside our house, while we were standing by the garden, all that mattered was that we were together, there was a really good song playing, and a core member had enough joy to share with the rest of us.
Find a link to Mark Lepper’s blog Every Day an Adventure at Lutheran Blogs.