I just came across this incredibly lovely poem by British poet David Whyte. It's not often that poetry as a written form manages to so perfectly represent how I feel about an aspect of my life. This is one of those times - which has had me reflecting on what my relationship to my home and the times when I rely on it for comfort and healing and also the times when I want to fill it with folks I love.
THE HOUSE OF BELONGINGDavid WhyteI awokethis morningin the gold lightturning this wayand thatthinking fora momentit was onedaylike any other.Butthe veil had gonefrom mydarkened heartandI thoughtit must have been the quietcandlelightthat filled my room,it must have beenthe firsteasy rhythmwith which I breathedmyself to sleep,it must have beenthe prayer I saidspeaking to the othernessof the night.AndI thoughtthis is the good dayyou couldmeet your love,this is the black daysomeone closeto you could die.This is the dayyou realizehow easily the threadis brokenbetween this worldand the nextand I found myselfsitting upin the quiet pathwayof light,the tawnyclose grained cedarburning roundme like fireand all the angels of this houselyheaven ascendingthrough the firstroof of lightthe sun has made.This is the bright homein which I live,this is whereI askmy friendsto come,this is where I wantto love all the thingsit has taken me so longto learn to love.This is the templeof my adult alonenessand I belongto that alonenessas I belong to my life.There is no houselike the house of belonging.
(Painting by Roger Lane)
"This is the bright home in which I live, this is where I ask my friends to come, this is where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love." This line reminds me of that Rumi poem "The Guest House"
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