Another way that a storm is like a dinner party
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
It turns out that the storm was not destructive, nothing like Odile. Also, we were more ready than we've ever been. We cleaned the entire house and yard, but with less fear and urgency than usual. Believe it or not, we are starting to get used to hurricanes. And we need to get used to them, as hurricane season has arrived two months early this year. As we prepared for the day, both Lucas and I had the same thought, independently--that getting ready for the storm was like getting ready for a dinner party. It forces you to clean up. All the same things had to be done. When you are off the grid--there's quite a lot to be done. Treating the storm in this way, with acceptance, and respect, almost an invitation, felt right. And it reminded me of one of my favorite Rumi poems that I return to over and over. As, this attitude towards life, not only towards storms, but to our own emotions, helps us to soften in the face of difficulty. We are more prepared, more ready to take on the challenge. We become heroes, facing the impending tumult with strength, but also welcoming.