The Quiet Moments
_By Molly Chamberlain
Photo Credit: N Street Village Photo of the Week
Molly is a Loretto Volunteer serving as Program Assistant/Activities Coordinator at Bethany Women's Center at N Street Village.
Hello, my name is Molly Chamberlain and I am a Loretto Volunteer living in Junia House in Washington, DC. For those of you who identify with the Enneagram, I am a 3. You may have already guessed that this brief reflection took weeks to compose because, as a three, I was preoccupied with the message it would send about me and the house (especially after Anne's brilliant piece).
This reflection comes to you several months into my volunteer year and I couldn't be a in a better place.
I recently graduated from Siena College in May with a bachelors in Social Work. I had spent several years in Albany, so coming to DC for a volunteer year was to be one thrilling experiment. I decided to take on the life of a "year-long" in order to explore my newly earned degree, my faith and what lay beyond upstate New York. Within the limited amount of time that I have been here, I have already learned a lot about all three.
My work in DC takes me to the Bethany Women's Center at N Street Village. I wake up every morning around 5:15 to shower and catch the bus; I get into work at 7:00 or 7:15 each day. My morning is filled with lots of things to do, preparing our day center for the communities' arrival. Once the door is unlocked there is a flurry of activity. Some days it seems that there will not be enough time in the day to meet everyone's needs. We begin our day with reflection and a meal. I enjoy meals in Bethany's because it is a time when a majority of our community is together. The tables often remind me of my high school cafeteria. There are certain groups of friends that have their usual seats together. It's a comforting reminder of the community we have amongst our clients, regardless of age, race, religion or creed.
My favorite time of day is not breakfast or even lunch. I patiently await the two o'clock lull that drifts in several times a week. These few silent minutes are few and far between in Bethany's and I treasure them for the opportunity they hold. After everyone has gotten detergent, shampoo or a pair of slacks in the morning, this lull provides a time to sit down and connect to people. I spend these few minutes each day playing Scrabble and discussing politics or talking to a group of women about their families while we play a game of Spades. It’s in these moments that everyone, staff and clients, can let their guard down and make meaningful connections. I have already grown to love and appreciate so many of the ladies at Bethany's it is hard for me to imagine what my life will look like without them.
I am excited for every day I go to work. I can only hope that I will hold this passion throughout the year and throughout my life.
7/9/2012 11:45:28 am
First time reading this blog, just wanted to say hi.
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