Welcoming

            Delycia and I welcome people into our home every so often, and I only wish I could be more welcoming to the thoughts that move through the home of my mind. A steady line of thoughts constantly passes through my life, and I want to learn to welcome them all, even those filled with fear or dismay or discouragement. What I am slowly understanding is that my thoughts are not me, but fairly frail and short-lived whispers that will slip smoothly away if I just stand aside, observe them in a welcoming way, and then let them quietly leave. I could welcome thoughts of fear, for instance – politely listen to them, let them take their time passing through, and then see them to the door and down the road. I’m learning that thoughts are as harmless as I allow them to be – simply evanescent voices that will soon disappear if I stand by with something like a smile.

WELCOME, CANCER
a poem about Bernice D., 61, Blessings, CT
 
When cancer came to her for a visit,
she greeted it with civility, saying,
"Cancer, you are welcome as my guest,
both because you are here, and because
something good will come from your visit,
just as the sky is more striking after a storm.
My personal illness is not especially important,
dear cancer, because what are you,
my small, irresolute visitor,
compared to the waters of sorrow
that swamp so many people today,
so many children adrift in fear,
so many elderly losing their way in loneliness?
You, my cancer, are a mere ripple of discomfort
in a vast sea of sorrow,
a sea of scared kids and helpless homeless people
and millions utterly lost in sadness.
Please be my guest.
Show me what serious illness and pain and panic
are like, so I'll be a better brother
for my brother and sister sufferers
around the world.  My proud cancer,
you can never truly hurt me, since my love
for my wounded worldwide family
is far stronger than my fear
of any boisterous, noisy disease,
one that has never seen
the gutsy power of unselfishness,
or the way light is always brighter 
after darkness."

2 thoughts on “Welcoming”

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