You may house their bodies, but not their souls…

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…

-Kahlil Gibran

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day.
Last Saturday my youngest “child” got married.
My greatest honor in life has been being a mother.
But as this wise verse from Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet reminds me,
I may have housed their bodies, but I cannot house their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.

I am so proud of the men my boys have become.
As I watched the youngest celebrate marriage, and the oldest toast his brother last weekend,
my heart swelled.
Somehow we managed to do a good job.
And I couldn’t have done it without my husband – their father – by my side.

As I look at this photo I took at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago of a Momma Duck (made of flowers by the way) and her little ducklings, I was once again reminded of the privilege I was bestowed in life to be a mother.  I am now also blessed with two beautiful “daughters”-in-law and the great privilege of being a “grand”mother.

I am so grateful.

Here’s to all the moms out there!
Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Our Children

winter front yard bush 020115

My copy of “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran arrived a few days ago.

And what a treasure it is.

It is a book to be savored in small bits and pieces,

with words to be read over and over.

Several people told me about the section on Children, so it was the first place I went…

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

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.

I love this.
I hope to think I have raised my boys this way…
respecting that they have their own thoughts…
not forcing mine on them.

It was the greatest privilege of my life to house their bodies,
but I will never own their souls.

I’m so proud of the men they have become.
Sometimes we have different opinions, sometimes we disagree, but I have, do, and will always respect them immensely…
and love them all the same.

This was not necessarily the way I was raised, but that only makes me feel all the more convicted about it.
I am honored to bend my bow with gladness, and shoot two blazing, sharp, strong arrows into the world.

May all of our children be as unique and individual as they desire, like each snowflake that falls and blows in the wind and catches on thistly bushes.  And may we love them all and cherish their beauty.

With much love and pride to my Jake and Nick,
Your Mom

On Joy and Sorrow

joy and sorrow winter pine snow icicle

A dear friend shared this amazing piece with me yesterday, and I had to share it.  It was in response to yesterday’s post,  Untold Story.

And this photo I took on a brief walk yesterday afternoon seemed to perfectly align with the message in the poem.

On Joy and Sorrow
Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi