This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
(translation by Coleman Barks)
This poem has been running through my mind of late. We’ve been sick a lot this past month. Month and a half now, actually. Espen has started a Montessorri preschool toddler program, which was a hard transition for both him and me. But, it is such a blessing now that he has picked up this new routine and is running with it. He loves it there. He loves the stimulation of the activities, the interaction with other children his age (oh it is just grand to see him making friends! Little friends!!!), the sitting down for morning snack in a chair just his size with a glass cup just his size and water poured from a colorful fish jug. It makes me happy to see him enjoying himself. However, kids are kids and they are little petri dishes of sickness, and then whatever Espen catches I catch, and then Joel catches it, in predictable progression. And the sicknesses sweep through each one after the next violently sweeping our house empty, again and again. But, they’re just colds and stomach bugs, when it comes down to it, and for that I am so very grateful. Fundamentally we are healthy (even if sometimes grumpy about the aches and fatigue), and that matters.