Just over a week ago, community members from L’Arche Greater Washington DC drove out of the city, and gathered together at Bull Run Regional Park for their annual day at Atlantis Waterpark. We fired up the grill for burgers and hot dogs, dished out fruit salad, dipped vegetables in hummus, and broke open a melon. People were blowing bubbles, children raced around picnic tables, and laughter filled the air. It was a gathering for all ages with smiling faces everywhere I looked and reminded me of a family reunion.
One of our community’s favorite parts of the waterpark is the bucket. “Here it comes!” comes the cry. We huddle together, with our hands clasped tight and our arms wrapped around one another, cool water dousing us from above. As the water clears, smiles erupt, and we high-five one another. Over and over again we go through this process. Waiting in anticipation for the bucket to dump water over our heads. Holding tight to one another through the blast. Celebrating with one another on the other side.
In many ways, our interactions surrounding “The Bucket” at Bull Run is symbolic of our community as a whole. We look forward together as a community, looking towards goals and upcoming obstacles. We support one another as we go, listening and encouraging, walking hand in hand through the joys and struggles of life. And perhaps most importantly, we celebrate with each other. We celebrate goals reached and struggles overcome. We celebrate large life transitions and the little everyday things that bring smiles to our faces. We celebrate the gift of being in community, learning to live and love together each and every day.
Feature photo by Brian A Taylor.