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’re 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


~ Rumi ~
My father finished his time on earth just after Noon today.  My thoughts flip about, from memory to sadness to avoidance.  This is hard.  I feel alternately numb and shattered.  I flitter about nervously, straightening, doing things to ready myself for the long drive home, then collapse, exhausted, feeling drained of all strength or caring.
I have had the luck and the honor of being a Daddy’s girl.  I’ve known strong arms around me in a hug that assured me that all would be well.  I’ve felt the gentle calming of rough fingertips across my forehead after a nightmare as a child.  I may have lost a lot in this life, had a host of struggles and anguish, but I have had the fierce, protective love of a father.  I’m so thankful for that.
There was never another man who equaled you, Dad.  In another world, you would have loved Tammy.  Can you see her now?  Can you feel my happiness and rejoice that I have her strong arms to hold me through this?  Do you see how much she loves me?  I’ll be okay, Dad.  Maybe it’s silly, but I hope something of you still exists.  And that you are whole again.  And free.