Beloved Tess over at Anchors and Masts shared this poem by Rumi the other day:
This being human is a guesthouse;
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’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture.
Still treat each guest honourably.
She may be clearing you out for some new delight
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them all at the door laughing and invite them in
Be grateful for whatever comes
Because each has been sent as
A guide from beyond!
The last day of my maternity leave is nearing its end. Though I will only be going into the office three days a week and will be with Moira much more than I am away from her, I somehow feel like I am leaving a remote island where the world has not been able to touch us for the last two and a half months. We have journeyed out a bit, but when the waves crashed too high we could always retreat back to this country of two, of mother and daughter where the spell of the womb still lingered.
I still belong to Moira in ways I will belong to no other entity. No job, no obligation, no passion will be stronger than my devotion to my daughter. And yet, she is not the only being in my guesthouse. Of course, my husband, the rest of my family, and my friends fill up many of my rooms with laughter and with love, but still, there are also the public spaces where others must be permitted to tread.
A week ago I looked to this time of returning and considered about how I grow through each interaction with those difficult people that my work life sends into my orbit. In weakness, I still cringe a bit at having to walk back into certain rooms where the air is heavy with mistakes of the past, where relationships have soured and interactions have become strained. In strength, I can let that old smoke dissipate with one deep breath. I can willfully forget damaged histories and walk back to the office a woman reborn because hey, I was in many, many ways.
Since Christmas, ghosts of answers to those prayers I was slinging into the Universe about finding a way to stay home with baby girl seem to be finding me. There is a long way to go to be sure, but little lights are flickering on and little windows are opening in the house of my dreams. I am realizing that if I am going to fling wide the doors so that such bits of opportunity can make themselves comfortable, then those doors will also have to be open to Rumi’s “cloud of sorrows.”
Right now, I am in a mood that allows anything to be possible, and that includes being grateful for all the good and all the bad that I may encounter in this fully lived life. Going back to work tomorrow may not be my ideal way to spend a day, but it is the only January 5, 2010 that I will ever see, so I might as well show up and be a good hostess, come what may.
January 5, 2010… Sounds like a pretty mundane sort of day. What sort of magic will you allow to find you in all its wintry midst?