Maria Popova says that childrens' books are "exquisite distillations of philosophies for living". This couldn't be more true for Eva Eland's book, When Sadness Is at Your Door. Sadness knocks at every door and sometimes stays for much longer than we'd like. There have been long periods of time when I have felt it was my set point and all efforts to move from it were pointless. Like many things in life, getting rid of it starts with acknowledgement.
The figure of sadness in Eland's book reminds me of countless mythological stories that use beings who disguise their nature to deceive the sufferer. By the end of these stories, the truth is revealed and the demons are conquered. In Buddhism, Mara wreaks havoc. Many Zen tales offer the same lessons as this childrens' book; "Invite Mara to tea and ask it what it needs."
Similar advice can also be found in a counseling session or a comforting talk with a friend. In fact, this book feels like an exquisite distillation of a talk with a good friend. I can't think of higher praise.
Give yourself a treat, find a copy, sit down with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and enjoy When Sadness Is At Your Door.
Here's a preview. Click the images to see the full view.