Happy End

11 Mar

I had to laugh this afternoon.  I began cleaning the Seminar Haus for the workshop this weekend.  I started with the bathrooms.  Typical work – cleaning sinks and floors, restocking toilet paper.  I noticed something that never caught my attention before… the toilet paper brand name is “Happy Ends”.  Made me laugh.

It is a quiet Sunday.  A longtime friend of my hosts came for a visit in her caravan… enjoying some time with them at their home just down the street.  I joined them for a while for breakfast.  The little child in me found some comfort in being surrounded by “adults” for a bit.  We enjoyed a typical German breakfast… plenty of bread and rolls, cheese, butter, honey, fruit.  And tea.  Of course tea.  The conversation of the hour was the closing of the Seminar Haus.  A hot topic these days.

After a few hours I escaped back to the Seminar Haus and started the work of cleaning.  Mindfully I shifted my attention from the time spent with the group to the simple work of the moment.  Wiping the sink clean.  Stocking three rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom.  I am listening to the ipod my friend Dan gave me while I clean.  The music of the moment is a song by Yael Naim, called Far Far.  Her music and lyrics grab me there in the stillness and privacy of the moment… cleaning the bathroom.  She sings, “How can you stay outside, there is a beautiful mess inside…Just look at yourself now… deep inside.  Deeper than you ever dared… there’s a beautiful mess inside.” As she invites me in with her words, I catch my reflection on the silver top of the bathroom trashcan and…I am moved.  I am moved by what is beautiful inside and I catch… just a glimpse. The moment is gone and I am grateful for what felt like a breath of cool fresh air after being held under water… or something like that.

I continue cleaning… bringing each bathroom three rolls…. of Happy End.

Photo from the emerging Spring garden in Wettenbostel by Michael Hartley

2 Responses to “Happy End”

  1. Meliors 22/03/2012 at 10:48 #

    A few years ago I spent 7 months wwoofing at a bed and breakfast in the rainforest in Far North Queensland Australia. I had a very similar approach to cleaning the bathrooms and bedrooms there, and similar insights. But less aptly named toilet paper! Thank you for leading me to Yael Naim’s songs which I hadn’t heard before.

    • nancieteresa 22/03/2012 at 11:21 #

      Hey there! Great to hear from you! It’s nice to hear from folks with similar experiences! Thanks for writing! For curiosity sake, what was the bed and breakfast where you worked?

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