I was chatting with my friend Billy to day, he was talking about a spirtual kind of reflective conference he went to. One of the guys who was leading had said "hospitality is not really about cooking people meals it's about inviting people into your life"
I really like that, it put a vocab to something that had been troubling me deep down. We are establishing a bolier community here on the island and one of the keys is hospitality but just cooking meals and having beds for people to crash in isn't enough. We can do this without letting people enter into our lives. That is a lot more draining but also more rewarding. We have people come and stay with us but we expect them to be part of our lives, we know people here on the island who just come to our house and hang out all day they are part of our lives, the people who live with us are not lodgers they are part of our lives.
Before we moved to Ibiza we had a young lady live with us for 3 years who was a suicidal self harmer, but we never saw her like that, she was part of our lives. We trusted her with our children and had holidays together. It was tough at times, I like my own space and don't like eating with others but it was worth it. When we left she ended up in prison! not a success story well not in terms of life changed but I feel it was in terms of life shared..
Hospitality is about sharing life, even when it is tiring and overpowering. Personally I feel it has enriched my childrens lives, having so many people come into our world.
I think we need to think more deeply about hospitality as a practice.