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In my last three hospitals, I have been based a half-hour bus ride from my house, a half-hour walk from my house, and a hundred and odd miles away from my house and indeed practically in England, but, crucially, living on-site for that month. It has been lovely and I have grown accustomed to my 7.45am alarm clock. In my next hospital, which starts next Tuesday, I am based... well, going West, the next bit of civilisation after that particular hospital is Newfoundland. The one in Canada.

If I ever have to be at work before 8.45am -- and this is a surgical block, I am sure that that will happen -- I have to be out of my house in time to be on a 6.10am train.

I am telling you all this so that when you don't see a lot of me for the next five weeks, you are not too terribly alarmed.


It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up, something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing, and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house and now live over a quarry of noise and dust cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own.,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records.

Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you into everything you touch. You are not responsible.

You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, and in that way, be known.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

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