Guests and gifts

I seem to be short on status updates lately. My Twitter bird has lost its chirp.

Some of it is due to volunteer commitments. Some of it is because the weather is nice and we only get a few months of nice weather around here. I hate to squander it on the Internets. Some of it is pure mental exhaustion. I’m spread too thin in real life and online.

So, this week I had two guests:

The first, a surprise visitor, knocked on my door. I let her in willingly. All day she led me down different avenues, ones that delivered me right to where I needed to be. There, I found some of the things I’ve been wanting and wishing.  I couldn’t believe my luck.

The second was a familiar pest,  an ugly country cousin who storms my house and refuses to leave without a fight. He is quick to take things away and keep me off the roads leading to answers.

After sharing with someone in my life what I’ve been up to lately, the big, the small, the stuff in between, I found this gift in my e-mail inbox. It is absolutely perfect:

THE GUEST HOUSE

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.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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