I tried to stay awake to hear the rain, but sometimes we can't help sleeping.
One of the things you learn when you live far from a beloved homeland is that gratitude must not outweigh grief. I am surrounded in my neighbourhood by all the things I need for my convenience, but none that I need for my spirit's comfort - trees, meadows, flowers, rain, peaceful roads, hills. I've tried being assiduously grateful for all I have here, and sorrow has festered unrelieved, ultimately causing pain and illness.
Neither though must grief outweigh gratitude. I've soaked in my homesickness and that led only to despair. It made me forget my honour and hospitality, so that I became a lesser person.
I don't know that our hearts are meant to be fully open all the time. Perhaps it is wiser to be like the rose, and draw ourselves inward sometimes, quiet in our own shadows. And then open to the sun at other times. If we count our blessings, we should count our sorrows too. We should allow ourselves our truth, our full human experience, and treat ourselves with dignity and love. People talk a lot about happiness being the purpose of life, but I can not myself believe that. We have not been given a garden that needs no work. That work is surely at least part of life's purpose. The dirt as well as the flowers. The digging as well as the rest.
image source : Kelsey King at Fairytale Weeds