the guest house
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
The week is full of self-made barriers and I do my best to bury myself within the garden. I divide perennials, plant some herbs, move a rose and plant a bed of cosmos. I poke pole bean seeds into holes around two tepees, and sow what I know is way too much zucchini. I hill the potatoes and pick rhubarb and contemplate how I am still here, tending this yard, and question if it is by choice or a barrier I have built.
I am thankful for the sun on face, record breaking heat, and the need to water for it soothes my soul. I discover teeth holes in the thick, black hoses in the vegetable patch. “These must make grand chew toys,” I tell him as he patches them. For now I coil the heavy hoses up on the fence when I am finished, but that will get old come summer so I start looking for one of those roll up things online.
Mother’s Day comes and goes without much fanfare. I think of my mom and hear from all my kids. The dog and I sit on the futon outside on the patio for most of the day. I read and watch the birds while he patrols the yard, keeping it free of squirrels. The two of us even nap a bit. He seems to sense my mood and does not leave my side much. The day is melancholy and I do my best to be kind to myself. Finally I go in and take a long, hot bath, eat the last piece of rhubarb blondies, and head to bed.
I speculate about why it is that some days are just so hard. Why fighting depression is an evasive saga at times, taking over my life. But I am learning not to fight it, but rather just allowing it to be, with kindness and curiosity. I take note of the feelings inside of me, labeling them without judgement. I pinpoint the heaviness behind my eyes and within my heart and don’t question it. For when I am able to do this I find their grip eases and the bleakness does not last as long.
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. 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.”
Morning breaks and I feel a bit more like myself. I make a latte, tuck a treat into my pocket and head outside where the dog is already waiting for me on the futon. Together we watch the yard come to life. He noses around my pocket until I give over the treat, and then rests his head in my lap as we both drink in a new day. It is not long before a squirrel threatens the peacefulness of the garden and he is off. I get up, grab my empty latte mug and come inside, grateful that there are things I want do today. . .