Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I was obsessed with The Outsiders when it first came out in 1983. I loved the book by S.E. Hinton, the script and Francis Ford Coppola’s movie so much I memorized the poem Ponyboy recites. Looking back, it was probably just the sepia glow of the sunset that captured my attention. I’m pretty simple. Stay gold, Ponyboy.
It’s January and the vivid realization that all good things must come to an end leaves an indelible mark on me. One of my most memorable Christmases has come and gone, desserts by the dozen have been consumed and memories have been digitally captured. The family has dispersed and have settled back into daily routine. The heart longs for what is now a faint and distant thought.
The reality that the kids are no longer children but teens/young adults weighs on me. They are left to grasp their own footing and make their own path in this promising yet unstable world. Change is inevitable. “So Eden sank to grief.”
Placing trust in the universe, learning to cope and finding what matters most is what makes the difference. I may be naive but I’d like to think that the sense of beauty and innocence that once was can still co-exist in this ever changing world. Look to the children.
When they are young, they teach us about ourselves more than we realize. Patience from within. Tolerance through all their milestones and rites of passage. Unconditional love we didn’t know we were capable of. They are our heart, body and soul.
As young adults, they continuously teach us what we need to understand about the world around us. Patience that the universe will bring them where they need to be. It is with much hope that tolerance and acceptance of others has been deeply instilled; with complete understanding that a safety net of unconditional love from the family unit is infinite. And above all, trust – that we, as parents, have prepared them to the best of our ability.
I seek comfort in Kahlil Gibran’s words:
“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…”
Change is part of the process. It’s the letting go that’s the hardest. “Nothing gold can stay.”