I wrote ‘Our Guest House’ sometime in October 2009. Today’s #FridayReflections prompt sparked off the memory and I decided to share it with you.
Our Guest House
Here’s a look at our lives in 2009.
In August, José started a fever that turned out to be cerebral malaria (Plasmodium falciparum). Having had an uncle in a coma a few years back with this same illness, I was scared. I’m still not used to Mumbai and the thought of hospitalizing José and running back and forth on my own, plus taking care of Pablo was a bit too much. I asked my brother, Marc, to come down from Hyderabad to help. He came and although José didn’t need hospitalization, Marc was big help and having him around made things so much easier for us. Constant calls with advice from two medical professionals in our family were most helpful too.
With José almost recovered, Pablo decided in September to chase a wasp! Half an hour later, he just keeled over and seemed to be having a heart attack – he went blue and stopped breathing. I thought we had lost him, but his eyes kept moving. We rushed him to the vet and while we were there realized that it was an allergic reaction to the wasp bite. Poor fellow was out of sorts for a few days and I kept having recalls of the incident…..scary!
Life seemed to settle in to a routine for the rest of September. I started a yoga class, which I really enjoy. I started travelling on my own to town (quite an achievement for me in this city!) and enjoying the use of the British Library.
However, early on 3rd October morning we got the very sad news of my cousin’s tragic death. She was only 38 years old and in the prime of life and her business career. The family was devastated and it was only natural that I go to Hyderabad to be there for her funeral.
While in Hyderabad, I started a fever – but was determined to come back to Mumbai for José’s birthday and because he had plans to go to Igatpuri for a Vipassana weekend. He had planned this for a couple of months. I came back alright, but the fact that my fever turned out to be malaria (Plasmodium Vivax) put paid to all his plans!
Now if you think this is a tale of woes – it’s not meant to be so at all. In fact, through all these times and experiences, I’ve never been more conscious of God’s loving presence in our lives. The overriding feeling in me has been one of gratitude – for the life we have, our relationship, our family, the many people who make our life easier – doctors, vets, our maid, our dhobi, delivery men from medical stores and our friendly neighborhood grocer…….the list is endless.
I’m grateful too for all I’ve learnt during these months – patience, humility, trust, faith and just going with the flow. The words of this poem of Jalal–ud-Din Rumi’s ring so true for us :
This being human is a guest house.Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,some momentary awareness comesas an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain all!Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,who violently sweep your houseempty of its furniture,still, treat each guest honorably.He may be clearing you outfor some new delight.The dark thought, the shame, the malice,meet them at the door laughing,and invite them in.Be grateful for whomever comes,because each has been sentas a guide from beyond.
“Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles in life.” – John Amatt.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.
Don’t forget to come back on Monday and vote for your favorite post!
Prompts for 12th May 2017:
1. Write a letter to your future self – 10, 15 or 20 years from now
2. Share a book review
3. Show us your handwriting
4. “Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles in life.” – John Amatt. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one
5. Picture Prompt (credit: Parul Kashyap Thakur from Happinessandfood)
The Unknown Journey Ahead
That is a whole different way to think of troubles. I feel like I’m in the eye of a storm right now, with people being diagnosed with serious conditions all around me. And, in the last 10 days, two former co workers passed away. It is really making me think – this is a whole other way to think of these things happening to people I know.
Dr Roshan R (@pythoroshan)
That sounds like a rough year. Cerebral malaria did kill one of my juniors in college. In Mangalore, every year we would get cases of all varieties of Malaria.. I had vivax myself as a student.
I salute your preserverence and belief in God in testing times as these!! Congratulations for making it in the big bad city – I hope you ace many more challenges and enjoy great times in this bustling metropolis!!! Cheers
Loved the poem – its so deep and familiar!!!
That sure was a rough year for you, Corinne, wasn’t it? I admire your strength. Counting blessings and staying grateful always helps, right? Loved the poem.
Wonderful thoughts by Rumi though its very difficult to practically follow it. Your situation was scary in 2009 but good news is you crossed the obstacle and continue to do so. These situations bring more faith on God and makes us more grateful of our friends and family.
What a lovely way to treat those really unwelcome viruses. I had malaria one year ( the ordinary one) and dengue the next but the good thing was that I lost the 6 Kilos that were refusing to go away in just a week. It saved me the hassle of going to a diet farm or any other such drastic weight loss program. I know this is not the ideal way to lose weight, but honestly considering that I am alive to tell the tale, it was well worth getting dengue.
Ouch! Such tough times and yet, the manner in which you view them is incredible. It’s all about perspective in the end, which is something I forget very often. Lovely lines by Rumi too.
Tough times are the best teachers