We are

Publish date 24-06-2023

by Maria Claudia Brunello

The intercom rings: «Who is it?», «It's us». I've only been here once and I'm already at home.
It's us, the new friends who have been living the Hermitage in all its facets for months now. The pastry shop has new hands to count on; finally a constant presence in the garden can be foreseen, in the care and management of the house, from cleaning to wetting the plants, from preparing wedding favors to arranging the rooms for events. The intercom rings: «Who is it?», «It's us».

Every corner of the Hermitage is now inhabited by volunteers, young people, educators and the disabled…all together.
Someone asks if we can stop and sleep. Manuela already sees what she could do: "I can sweep the courtyard and clean that glass."
There are those who take time to overcome their fear of dogs and those who instead intend to brush them every time they come. After a few years of running in, the Hermitage is now ready to open one more door – or rather – to enlarge the space of the tent. It is increasingly becoming a home where, in the normality of life that flows by, there is room for those in wheelchairs, for those who find it difficult to use their hands and those who care to point out that from an intellectual point of view it is normal, even if you really have to try hard to understand what he's saying. Everyone finds their place and their way of making themselves useful.

For some there is an initial fear about what they will really be able to do, but the hesitation immediately gives way to the enthusiasm with which they propose themselves for the various services: «Can I serve food today?».
While he puts the pasta on the plate, Massimo is the happiest man alive and in the end he deserves sincere applause. Andrea still doesn't speak, but his gaze is serene and in silence, when it's time to wash the dishes, he appears in the kitchen without being called.
Roberto has always been afraid to walk on the grass but holding Luca and Rosanna's arm he reaches Tommaso who explains where to put the seeds in the garden. At all times they show us a desire to live and to get busy that we often don't have. And so the Arsenal of Harmony becomes – more and more every day – the home where everyone can bring out the beauty that they have, without fear of showing their own frailties.

Arsenal of Harmony
Maria Claudia Brunello
NP March 2023

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