Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Children

Below is my favorite poem about children from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran. I didn't understand it until my children were baptized ... there they are with their father (also newly baptized), their sponsors, the priest, the choir in the back, and all the faithful gathered at Easter vigil 2009.



And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,

Speak to us of Children.

And he said:

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 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.

***

9 comments:

Suma Subramaniam said...

What a beautiful poem Vijaya!

Thanks for sharing it. The picture is so perfect for the poem.

Best,
Suma.

SCBWI REP said...

Love pic. I love this moment in time. I just felt like shouting with joy to the heavens. And this poem made cry because of its deep truth. I cannot say how much you have and continue to encourage me toward God. Thank you for this.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

What an amazing poem ... on so many levels.

Thanks for sharing it, Vijaya!

(your children are precious!)

Amy

Vijaya said...

Suma, Molly, and Amy -- thank YOU. That night is etched my memory forever. It's right up there with getting married and having babies. Unforgettable.

wordwranglernc said...

Your family is beautiful! (and so are you, my friend. Inside and out.)

Faith E. Hough said...

Wow. That is incredibly beautiful and profound.
Easter vigil is my favorite liturgy of the year. I am blessed to belong to a parish where regularly a dozen or so men, women, and children come into the church each year...and the joy is...electric and tangible. Your picture captures that so well!

Bish Denham said...

I missed this post! Kahlil Gibran was so perceptive, such a poet. I've loved everything of his that I've read.

Vijaya said...

Bish, me too. And I think I should treat myself to a book! I copied this from the Internet and then found the complete version ...

Mary Witzl said...

That is so true: you can't really understand how true that poem is until you're a parent. Children really do have their own thoughts, and it's probably good that they're resistant to ours!