Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Source: A Mother's Musings

If I had words to wrap around
those mommy days and mother years,
I’d hold them in my hands and say
that nothing ever disappears.
But I can’t seem to feel the page,
and all this stuff just moves so fast––
in bits and pictures, fading memories
of an ever-fading past.

My life is turning over now;
it’s tumbling down a hill of time
and every stone unearthed rolls on…
No looking back, no saving climb
can make tomorrow yesterday,
can soften chin and jaw and cheek;
my smile is no more universe;
my eyes, though warm, they do not seek.

A river runs and so it should;
I would not have it change its course,
but as it rushes to the sea,
it also leaves behind the Source.

I wrote this poem ten years ago, but I feel the sentiments that inspired it every bit as strongly today, one week after our always-too-brief period of family togetherness at the beach house. Apparently, the empty nest is a syndrome from which I will never entirely recover. My life has many good things in it, fulfilling things––to say nothing of my wonderful husband-–but none of these quite fills the space or satisfies the longing for those golden days when every one of our children lived under one roof...when our family was always complete, not just in emotional bonding but in physical presence.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy that my children have grown and thrived and developed their own lives apart from mine. And yet, that particular victory of parenting is bittersweet. One of the ironies of raising and nurturing our young successfully is that we, in the doing of it, lay the groundwork for our own obsolescence. Or maybe I should say relative obsolescence. I'm very much aware that I am anything but obsolete in my children's lives. Having said that, my former role has seen its day.

On almost every level, this pleases me.

But it pains me, too. And that's the truth of it.

Today is the last day to leave a comment on my one-year blogiversary post (do it before 11:59 PM) to win one of five fun prizes. Good luck, everyone! Remember, your name will be entered one time for each of the following: leaving a comment, being a follower, grabbing my blog button, and linking to my blogiversary post, thereby increasing your chances of winning. The victorious five will be announced tomorrow morning!



KC Mom said...

Please tell me that it gets easier. I'm just a mess this week as we get ready to send our daughter to school. I just can't wrap my brain around the finality of it.
I hope you don't mind if I post your beautiful poem on my blog. It is exactly how I feel and I just don't have my own words to describe this.

Lisa said...

You write what I am thinking! only so much more eloquently! Perfect sentiment. I'll have to send this to my girls! and copy it an paste it above my computer.

jen said...

Just what I needed. It's so hard, but so good.
Thanks for seeing into my soul yet again.

Heather Anderson said...

I love this poem and you are such a wonderful Mother!

Jill said...

I can so relate to this. On the outside I have done very well with my empty nest life. But inside, I don't think I will ever adjust. Just as I don't think we ever really adjust to this world we live in since we came from heaven. I think raising my 4 children, even in spite of the challenges, was truly heaven on how can anything compete with that?

Jill said...

I just read your poem again and that last line just really does something to me. I just read it to my husband and I can tell it hit him too. He is sitting here in contemplation.

karen said...

Yes. We've discussed this before, and it's a conundrum. I have a very hard time finding the balance between feeling joy in my children's successful launching into adulthood, and feeling wistful and melancholy because I miss the children they were. AND worrying that I didn't do my job well enough. It's all in there. Your poem is perfect in its joy/yearning.

Momza said...

Such beautiful sentiments. I feel the same way...I've given all I can so my children can grow and progress, and I miss them when they're not here.
Thanks for the gentle reminder that life moves whether we're paying attention or not.

Fiauna said...

I can't even find the words. Your poetry is so touching. And now I'm crying.

NBlake said...

I think this is why I enjoy teaching so much. Every year there are 110 new girls I grow to love. Since they are only 13, I get to mother them a bit, too.

One from last year is coming in this week to help me set up my room. Isn't that cute?

Feeling a bit more excited about the new year and less sad that summer is ending today...

VK said...

I'm so there with the mothering thing, and feeling obsolete, and loving it, and not loving it, and having wonderful grandchildren, and missing my own.

Apples and Autobots said...

I love your poem. My babies are still at home, but they're growing up much faster than I can handle!

Tired Mom said...

Great poem! Thanks for sharing! Over from blog gems.

Varda said...

Oh, Sue, this is so lovely. My nest is so far from empty right now, but I can well imagine that this will be me, many years from now.

Of course by then I will be quite the old lady... Oh well! No one made me wait until 42 to have kids!

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