Innisfree changed my life—in jolts and bolts and slow rolling waves. After college I found myself in a corporate job that seemed to suck the life out of me. I needed change. I needed challenge that involved more meaning than designing a marketing campaign for a product I didn't really care about
I came to Innisfree seeking something new, something fun. What I found was a whole new way to move through the world. I volunteered for a year and then another. I went away, and like many other volunteers I have come back.
Mornings are especially lovely here, when patches of mist still crouch among the trees, and the edges of the mountains blur into the sky. A whippoorwill calls. A woodpecker answers. A hummingbird zooms into view and zooms away again. The sun crests the mountains to the east, and a sliver of light appears on the mountains to the west. The light spreads down and down. All that was purple and blue and deep green slowly becomes yellow and orange and bright green. All around the air is charged with life—buzzing insects, birdcalls. The guinea hens yodel; the cows moan; Joe's tractor purrs in the distance. A spider's web that appeared overnight outside your window is laced with dew. And you have never seen anything so delicate and permanent in all your life.You take a walk.
You breathe the impossibly clean air.
You pass the garden, see the tomato plants climbing, smell basil on the breeze, and hear the bees already working the blooms.
And then you return to your house. Someone has already started the coffee. Someone has set the table. Someone has taken out the compost. And you glide into your place in the morning bustle. You help Angelica shower and dress for the day. You wake up Nicky. You all eat breakfast together and head out the door and down the hill. You work. You share life. You live in community, where everyone's talents and offerings are picked into the same basket.
The amazing thing about Innisfree is the unconditional love and support that you get from the community. You feel it the moment you arrive. You are reminded of it every day with hugs and smiles and laughter. This is community. This is the way we ought to live. It's so simple really. When you leave, you wonder why the rest of the world doesn't operate this way.
In this time when much of the world seems to close in around us—the airplane seats move closer together, the cubicles get smaller and smaller, time is always in short supply—Innisfree offers a place to expand, to breathe deeper than you thought you could, to spill over the edge of yourself and into a community that requires the fullness of your experience and compassion.
Article contributed by Lisa G.
Volunteering at Innisfree Village brings the give and take of a lifesharing home and work environment with residents who have intellectual disabilities. Take a sneak peek of your new work environment and the variety of people who live and work together.
Go to the Innisfree Village profile page »
|Job Channels—Explore Your Options