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Lights on the Journey: Bonnie and Peter

Bonnie and Peter

Bonnie and Peter

I met Peter Porter, formally, the first time I was invited to cook supper at the Green House. Although he showed interest in the ingredients laid out on the counter, he would come and go silently, without explanation.

Journey is a beautiful metaphor for the unfolding of life, especially as it is shared in community. Peter wanders, but he doesn’t wander aimlessly. Peter visits the places and perches around the house that remind him of who he is, of what’s going to happen and who will be along for the ride. When Peter fixed me with one of his signature gazes, I wasn’t sure what to do. “What did you say Peter?” He stared at me for almost a minute, took a step back and moved in a different direction.

In the beginning Peter didn’t help me to understand him, but always returned to check on the progress of dinner, and in time included me in the conversations that held the building blocks of his daily life. “Milkshake in the morning.” “Going to work tomorrow,” and finally “You are going home tonight.” Sometimes these statements are questions, and their answers provide light for Peter’s journey.

As Peter has continued to include me more in these conversations, he sheds and shares light for my journey.

~ Bonnie Parsons and Peter Porter. Peter has lived at the Green House since it was built in 1976. Bonnie is the leader of the L’Arche Daybreak Spirit Movers Dance Troupe and has a close friendship with the members of the Green House.

Advent at L’Arche Daybreak 2013: Light for the Journey
While Advent is a Christian tradition it has also become a community tradition at Daybreak for people of all faiths as well as for people with no particular faith tradition. For us, it is a time of reflection, story-telling, and ritual.