The Rainbow Bridge


At the Waldorf School, the kids in early childhood education are told a very special story on their birthdays. The short version is this:

When you were a little angel, you saw your family from the clouds and you loved them right away, so you asked the Big Angel if you could make the journey and go to them. The Big Angel gave you the blessing, and you crossed the rainbow bridge, sailed along the big river in your little boat, went through a dark tunnel and then passed into the light into the arms of your mommy (in our case mommies) and your daddy.

It’s so darling, and in reading about child development and parenting through the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, I’m also really into this concept that babies are ethereal beings who have to be taught how to be in the corporeal world.

Today, on this splashy, grey day I’m a bit humbled at the notion that my body could someday house an ethereal being.

Silly right? I mean, I believe that I have a soul, so technically I already DO house an ethereal essence, but imagining a perfect, untainted, unformed little being thriving within my banged up, bruised up self is kinda making tears spring to my eyes as I type this.

When I really stop and think about my existing little girls as ethereal beings who are moving from their intangible purity through their real, living existence it’s even more rattling. Where was this concept when I met them? How have I not thought of this with every second that I have known and loved them? Surely I could have been better? More understanding? More patient?

The body as a house was heavily on my mind today. Am I worthy of receiving such a gift? Am I ready? Is my body ready? I mused on this as I stepped around puddles and met girlfriends for lunch, and picked produce for dinner.

Then, in a perfectly Schnooie moment of synchronicity my sister-in-love sent me a reply to an email where I was talking about the subject of raw spots. Raw spots are our places that can’t be touched without a serious emotional response that we must learn to understand and master, for our sake, and for everyone else’s. I had told her that there are days where I feel like I am entirely a raw spot.

She shared this with me:

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.
~Rumi

Never mind that it’s Rumi, whom I adore. Never mind that the sentiment touched me so deeply and resonated so clearly in my heart. How ’bout the craziness of the first line? I’ve got a real soul-twin in my sister-in-love and I feel that growing deeper each time we get to connect.

So, I guess I’ll be tidying my guest house for any and all visitors who would like to pass through. Hanging up the Vacancy sign. Maybe I’ll even advertise the waterbed and the free Wifi.

I feel like a very small Schnoo indeed today.