"Wow, you can still smell it" said somebody as they walked into the foyer the other day.
"It's not as bad as it was!" was the chorus of response from various folk standing there.
And it's true - the smell left from the skunk bomb attack is much less. We are very grateful to those who have worked to sort it out - often at the cost of feeling pretty lousy as they spend time in the "smell".
I was very struck, however, at the difference of response between those of us who had been in and around the smell for quite some time and somebody coming into it from outside. Those of us there all the time responded from a position of habituation - we had got used to it. Almost to the point of not noticing it. The person coming in had not encountered it for a while - so met it, as it were "fresh" (though that is really not the term!!)
I am left wondering what else we have become habituated to, and what strengths and weaknesses that brings.
I'd love to think that we are habituated to loving one another, speaking truth, fighting for justice, practising hospitality, taking risks and not being afraid.... that these are things we do so often, so (in the right way) without thinking, that it just is who we are. And that somebody coming in and meeting us would notice it, and be struck by the "fragrance" of our community.....
I suspect that there are things we are habituated to that are not so fragrant; things that, if we stopped to think about it, we might not want to be part of our life and practice - but which we feel are so normal, that we can't really change. Such things might be....actually, I am not going name things, but I am sure we can all name some. My point is there may be ways we are and things we do that we take for granted, but that make others uncomfortable, or feel unwelcome, or mistrustful of us....
Maybe, as the skunk bomb smell dissipates (as it is doing, I promise!) we might think of what behaviour or assumptions we might allow to dissipate along with it.