today marks one week of having our home open to volunteers for the house and farm. to say that i had reservations going into this would be understating my actual emotions a week ago. we’ve lived with people before and opened up our home to friends who needed some help. it had its pros and cons but i can’t actually say it’s been better than the time we spent living alone.
somehow, having volunteers over has been a completely different experience. i think there is a mutual respect of one another that previous situations have lacked. we love the small community of friends we’ve gotten to know over the past few years for very much the same reason. the understanding that as individuals, we all have a responsibility to contribute to the group – whether in the form of doing the hard work, chores, cooking or very simply caring for someone else’s well being. in my honest opinion, that’s what i feel the world is missing and needs so badly. we know we are responsible to work, commitments and rules where failure to comply comes at a high cost. but how about to one another just as individuals?
so there was good reason for me to be concerned. especially because i do like and need a good amount of time to myself. but taking that leap and opening our home up to the right people has given me reason to wholeheartedly trust again. i think people who reach out to us through our profiles on wwoofindependants and helpx read something they relate to on a personal level and getting along once they’re here happens beautifully. there’s a certain magic in strangers gathering to share knowledge and experiences, working together freely on projects while living together communally.
so maybe this works perfectly – where we can genuinely care about setting up the place so volunteers are comfortable, work out schedules based on everyone’s availability and interests, help feed and shuttle them around – and at the end of the day, know that what we’re doing makes a difference. that whether or not i’m thanked personally doesn’t matter because seeing people happy in our space is enough happiness for me. although so far, everyone we’ve encountered on this path has been gracious, kind and generous with their words.
i didn’t think living communally would set me free in a way i’ve never experienced before. showing me a side of myself that i’ve been searching for and welcome with joy. i’ve always struggled with control and being a perfectionist. and even though i’ve known for a good amount of time now, it’s never felt like the time was right for the issue to be worked out. the past week has been complete magic! instead of being more hyper-alert and bothered by the lack of privacy, i’ve felt really chilled out (which i hardly am) without being bored out of my mind. in fact, we’ve gotten so much done together over the past week that it feels like a month has gone by.
i am so thankful for the people who have stopped by to contribute to our journey. it has been healing to my soul and now i’m truly looking forward to a lifetime of living communally and having our home (and land) open to anyone who hears arture’s call.