A Journey Full of Challenge, Joy and Love
The first time I went to L’Arche was a visit to the L’Arche community in Italy. I was 25 years old then and full of a desire for adventure and a spiritual search for the meaning of life. I wanted to find a place to rest and be safe. I also wanted to bring and share the gifts I have and things I know to do.
I moved into a home called Il Chicco (a seed) at one of the L’Arche community houses in Italy, Rome, and have never regretted a day of being at L’Arche.
But this story is about my L’Arche home here in Australia which I joined more than 4 years ago. I moved into the L’Arche Sydney Campsie house as a live in assistant and very soon became a house coordinator.
As a house coordinator I never had a feeling of leading my L’Arche home as life everyday slipped away from my plans. I would begin my day with a list of things to do and very often I would not have completed a thing from THAT list!
My story is more about giving and receiving. When we travel we have an itinerary in our mind. There are things we want to see, places we want to visit, people to meet.. I hoped that L’Arche would be a place of my spiritual home and provide answers to my questions… One day I was very upset about something and couldn’t hold back my emotions anymore and I started to cry; as I didn’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable I left the room and went upstairs to have some space. My friend and housemate at that time Katie, who can’t talk, came after me and gave me the box of tissues. I came to L’Arche home to be looking after Katie, but she was the one who followed me when I was in need.
It has been a journey full of challenge, joy and love. I believe that the most precious things in life are for free but you need to earn them… with your time, patience and being open for a change. Imagine you are living in a home where every year there are new people coming to live with you; with their experience, cultural background, beliefs and views of life… It is both ways to make a house a home. The change starts from you and it doesn’t happen immediately. This has probably been my biggest challenge during my time of being at L’Arche; to slow down to the speed of life at L’Arche and to live emotions through, the things said or done, find out why and alongside of forgiveness to appreciate each moment.
Today I live L’Arche and L’Arche is a part of my life. Each day I hope that life at L’Arche will bring me unexpected surprises. I’ll welcome and say goodbye, I’ll challenge myself and sometimes people around me, I’ll spend time with all my “whys” and I’ll give time to thank that L’Arche found me and shaped me to be the person I am today.