We recently returned from Kentucky, where we spent a late Christmas with Bret’s family. Kentucky deserves a post of its own, but basically- it is the most relaxing time ever. No work, all relaxation and playing with kids and friends and family. On one of our mornings there, we went to one of our favorite shops in the NULU neighborhood of Louisville called Scout. I picked up some decorative arrows for a gallery wall in the kids room (and yes, I hate myself a little for the sheer first-worldness of that last sentence). Go ahead, re-read it and judge me harshly. But, they were cute and only $4.
For those that don’t know me, I’m typically what you might call “a do-er”. I cannot sit still. At home, I have lists full of projects and am a tornado of activity and tasks that I (in a robot voice) must. get. done. immediately. If you know Bret, you know that he is, well, opposite of that. He’s a thinker and a ponderer and an “enjoy the moment, soak it all in” kind of guy. So, a couple of nights ago while I was cleaning the kitchen and he came to me with Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophetin his hands, I knew our personalities were about to collide. He had been thinking about the arrows (and not in the gallery wall sort of way) and wanted to read me something. What he read me was a passage on children that I had heard before, but at a time in my life before I had kids. Because it’s the new year and I’m trying to slow down and be a little less ME, I stopped and took it all in. Every word.
I have a habit of skimming when I read to find the point instead of enjoying the beautiful language. Yes, I’m crazy. I have almost no innate appreciation for words. But it’s because I’m going too fast. I want the answer. There are no answers here- only thoughts. So, don’t be like me. Slow down. Read this. Let the words wash over you and I promise it will change your day.
From Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
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[lead]Happy New Year, everyone.[/lead]