Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Response: Truth of Flowers

In case you can't read the poem from the image:
Prayer for a Daughter
Esther Wood

God of men and God of nature,
Shape my daughter like the seasons.
Give her all the song of springtime
And the subtlety of April,
Generosity of summer,
Warmth and all the sweet fulfillment,
And the sparkling wit of autumn,
Color like October hillsides.
Lest her charms may be too many,
Give her something of the winter:
Stars and distances and silence,
Courage of the open spaces,
Wisdom of the waiting branches.
Don't forget to give her winter.

Why this response?

I have never heard this untitled call poem, but it is pretty great, Macky-J. It instantly brought to mind the illustrations from this little book: Dear Daughter, Favorite Writings About the Joys of Daughters (1969). Each image features a life stage of the daughter surrounded by flowers with a metaphorical tree growing in the background. I always thought that the book was missing a stage of life - a withering tree, possibly a lifeless tree. After all: 

Silently a flower blooms, in silence it falls away

Of course, the little book is a Hallmark production and thus focuses on the pretty peaking of life rather than the slow and lack luster withering of a soul. And rightly so... it's nice to focus on these pretty peaks: 

This is the talk of the flower, the truth of the blossom;
The glory of eternal life is fully shining here. 

Living in the present, rather than thinking of that silent beginning and omnipresent and ever-looming silent fall allows a freedom of soul, a chance a happiness however momentary:

Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
The world of the flower, the whole of the world is blooming. 

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