This weekend, I am trying valiantly to apply these small, unassuming four words to everything I do. According to an ancient Sufi story, 'this, too, shall pass' was the counsel given to a persian prince by a wise man. The prince was suffering angst over the great changes in mood he experienced, between happiness and despondency. The wise man advised that beyond serving as a comfort, these words bring a stillness to the situation at hand. They allow us to recognise the brevity of all moments and the inevitability of change. Once we are able to see this, fear and angst about the future passes.
I am hanging on each little word to greatly appreciate the good, and hit back and sail through the bad and the ugly. When a mother at Little Gym chortles in my face at the idea that her son's barking cough may be contagious. When tt wakes forty-eight hours later unable to breathe with his second onslaught of croup. When having to pump 11ml of oral steroids into his hungry little body to open up swollen airways. When infection rattles him overnight, and j and I run relays in the dark for bottles and thermometer. And then, after hours holding him upright and tt finally grants me permission to lie us both down together in his cot, he snuggles in close and then I am loath to recall that: this, too, shall pass.