Sweet Failures

Last night, as I was sleeping

I dreamt — marvelous error! —

that I had a beehive

here inside my heart.

And the golden bees

were making white combs

and sweet honey

from my old failures.

                    ~ Antonio Machado

                                translated by Robert Bly

Do you ever have one of those days when you can’t stop thinking about your past and all the mistakes you’ve made?  I used to get depressed about it all, but I found the regret time-consuming and pointless.  Now I remember where all those failures have brought me, to the place I am today, with the friends I admire, the people I love, with the husband and children I am lucky enough to be blessed with.

I read this poem recently and fell in love with the imagery of golden bees making sweet honey out of my missteps.  It’s nice to feel like failing propels you forward to a more hopeful future rather than dragging you down.  A mistake, a let down, a disappointment; it’s all pollen to a sweet little bee, waiting to spin magic from the dust.  Just wait and see.

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