Sitting again beside the hearth of a beloved poem

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 attend 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.



(Even though this is an old old poem, even though you’ve maybe heard it six or one hundred times, or heck maybe I’ve even shared it in this blog before!…it’s always good to re-visit this poem and sit by its hearth and remember to treat all the guests that move through our life honorably.  The same with feelings.  The same with thoughts.  The same with actions.  Even that which challenges us may be clearing us out for some new unimagined delight.)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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17 Responses to Sitting again beside the hearth of a beloved poem

  1. Reggie says:

    I’ve not heard that poem before, Kathy – and love the ‘unexpected’ photo at the end! Perfect timing! 🙂

  2. Susan Derozier says:

    Amazing pictures Kathy and I blurted “LILACS!!!!!” with the last one. How I love and miss lilacs! The little bird tears at my heart and is stunning following that incredible floral portrait. I was not familiar with that poem and thought at first it was yours. Perfect in its message. Lovely as always.

  3. Brenda Hardie says:

    Thank you for sharing this poem Kathy. I have not heard it before today. It is true in that everything…EVERYTHING we experience, whether good or bad brings us to this moment in time. Every experience molds and shapes us for the now. Every thought, feeling, expression, every hope, dream, fear and worry. Every experience with others is given to us in preparation for the now. Often we wish we could “forget” the past or that wish we would have never experienced this or that…but then our “now” would be so different than it is…we would not be the people we are today…meeting the ones brought into our lives and sharing the things we all share with one another. There are no accidents…we are exactly where we should be in this moment and everything is happening as it should. To live life fully, one has to feel everything life has to offer. Even the good, bad and the ugly.
    hugs coming your way Kathy…I hope you find some comfort and a feeling of brightness when you read the words of caring from your friends…you are not alone!

  4. jeffstroud says:

    The whole blog was unexpected to me! Wonderful as usual! Rumi in his wise and loving way created joy out of sorrow, shone light on the darkest paths, for all the unexpected guest!

  5. P.j. grath says:

    This is my first encounter with the poem you’ve posted here, Kathy, and I’m very grateful to you for sharing it. Love the images, too, especially that hungry little bird.

  6. Dawn says:

    Had never read that poem before. Insightful. Stunning photos … poor bird…

  7. Dawn says:

    Is first picture a thimbleberry?

  8. How beautiful ! Rumi’s poem and your pictures blend in so wonderfully. Thank you Kathy for this delightful Sunday morning gift. May yours be just as nice 🙂

  9. Elisa's Spot says:

    I always like this poem. Ok, once in a while it makes me want to spit. The wanting to spit is then hilarious and I giggle. Ships setting sail!

  10. Kathy says:

    I am glad you all enjoyed (or in the case of Elisa doesn’t always enjoy) this beloved poem. Rumi is one of my favorite all-time poets! Dawn, yes I believe it was a thimbleberry, but am not 200% sure. This photo was taken in 2009 before I knew how to do photo-editing so just photo-edited it up. I hope all of us succeed in greeting our inner and outer guests today with love and equanimity. If not, may we at least invite the crowd of sorrows in for tea and see what they have to teach us! Thank you, EVERYONE, for taking some of your precious time to comment.

  11. Robin says:

    Thank you. 🙂

  12. Martha Bergin says:

    That poem teaches so much in such a few short sentences. It is like the flowers, almost exactly.

  13. Kathy says:

    Robin and Martha, also glad you paused to read and sit among the flowers and ponder the guest house of life.

  14. holessence says:

    A lovely and timely reminder — thank you.

  15. Pingback: Cozy snuggle beneath blankets on snowy blowy January afternoon | Lake Superior Spirit

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