Before i had my eldest daughter I read extensively all things related to children. I read parenting manuals, I read fictional stories and I read poetry. I wanted to absorb as much of what being a parent would entail. Most of the things I read just heightened my anxiety, particularly the parenting manuals. There was one thing i read, which was given to me in a book by my husband as his very first gift to me many moons ago, it was a book of Poetry by the Lebanon born writer Kahlil Gibran.
He was revered as a literary and political rebel in the Arab world. He is most famous for his 1923 book of prose poetry called The Prophet. Beautifully written philosophical works. I read his book when it was first given to me, but i happened to read it again when i were pregnant and the works ‘On Children’ became especially poetic. I try to remember this always when it comes to raising my children and wanted to share with you:
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.
Do you have a poem that speaks to you ? Please share with me……