When someone says ‘thanks’ to you, what do you say?

‘It’s no bother’

‘Don’t mention it’

‘My pleasure’

I think I default to ‘You’re welcome’. In that phrase, when it is genuinely offered, I think I am saying:

You are welcome here, to have had this space and place, you are welcome to this time.

Folk often say ‘thank you’ when receiving some kind of gift. Gifts can be many things, welcome gifts, quirky gifts, spot-on gifts, surprising gifts. Gifts can be anything really, except that to which you feel entitled. That is called something else.

The ‘thank you’ says you thought of me, you noticed I am here. You are here too. Thank you.

‘You are so welcome’ says exactly that,




You are so welcome here on earth, you are welcome to be you, accepted as you.

It feels like we are so ready to have a chance to welcome each other, to extend hospitality. Perhaps we are missing this. There has been so much generosity of spirit, giving and deep felt gratitude, but not many chances to say ‘You’re welcome’.

There is something about hosting another in your home, of being hospitable, an opening up. You trust your guests not to critique the standard of your home or what current state it is in. You may come to my house the day after I’ve cleaned it. You may come when cleaning is overdue. Pot luck really.

It is the same when we meet each other. You may get my top 10%, or the worst 10% of me. If at all possible this is why it is best to withhold judgement of perfect strangers and their behaviour. You may see them at their best and envy them. Or at their worst and scorn them. I don’t imagine any of us wish to be met with either of those things.

My 7 year old son has this t-shirt which says ‘The Dude’ – he asked about this and after my explanation he said ‘but I’m just a regular guy’. That made me smile, ‘regular guy’ – where did he pick up a phrase like that?! But this is all of us I guess, regular guy, regular gal.

And in the end all we have to offer is our gifts, what we are best and shiny at, as well as our regular selves, (and our lesser selves too). We offer all that into the bit of the world we find ourselves in, to our lives and relationships and interactions and interruptions.

Some might turn to us and say ‘thank you’ for all that.

And we might say

‘You are so welcome’

‘You are welcome’


Buttercup and the bee

There is a host and a guest

in each of us

Like the buttercup

and the bee.

Sometimes we’re the host

We get the beers in

Make some brownies

We are gracious,


and generous.

There is security in this.

There is a host and a guest

in each of us

Like the buttercup

and the bee.

Sometimes we’re the guest

We come tentatively,

wonder what kind of welcome

we will receive

Can I be me?

Am I OK to be here?

Am I Ok to be?

Am I ok?

There is a host and a guest

in each of us

Like the buttercup

and the bee.

Being a perpetual guest

is hard

Being a perpetual host

can harden you

There is a host and a guest

in each of us

Like the buttercup

and the bee.

As I meet you

and you meet me

We come as host

We come as guest

In the welcome of each other

Together, may we be.

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