Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The spirits of children are remote and wise,
They must go free
Like fishes in the sea
Or starlings in the skies,
Whilst you remain
The shore where casually they come again.
But when there falls the stalking shade of fear,
You must be suddenly near,
You, the unstable, must become a tree
In whose unending heights of flowering green
Hangs every fruit that grows, with silver bells;
Where heart-distracting magic birds are seen
And all the things a fairy-story tells;
Though still you should possess
Roots that go deep in ordinary earth,
And strong consoling bark
To love and to caress.
Ode on the Whole Duty Of Parents, Frances Cornford
A dear friend from college days phoned me and we chatted about
our children coming of age. It's a delicate balance to let them go,
yet be there for them, should the need arise. A bit like being "on
call", so to speak; shifting to an adult relationship, more casual,
easy and still be the strong supportive parent underneath.
Frances Cornford (1886-1960, Cambridge, England) was the
granddaughter of Charles Darwin. Her son John was a poet and
Communist who fought in the Spanish Civil War in the
International Brigade and was killed near Madrid in 1936.
(quote) "Magnificently unprepared for the long littleness of life."
*photo by willow