Monday, April 13, 2009

On Solid Ground

There are times that I falter in my direction. That I don't know where I'm going, cannot quite grasp where I am and question every little bit of where I've been. Now, is not one of those times. I'm standing on solid ground. And I need to say that out loud. Often.

I'm as happy as happy can be these days. Sure, I could complain that sometimes there is still more month left at the end of the money. There still are endless dots followed by listings on my to-do list. Two boys that have more energy in one day than I believe I could bottle up and save for the next five years. People, lots and lots of people, with one expectation after another. That cannot stop me. That doesn't deter me. I'm good. It's all good right now. I have enough. I am enough. It is all, enough. So I want to share a poem that was given to me so many, many years ago. I do not remember the name of the wonderful woman who gave it to me. But I do remember she gave this to me when life was not enough. She saw my pain and gave me hope. I held onto it for all these years, tucked away in a journal that I no longer read. I don't have that much pain to write about any more. I still remember it though. Reading it today makes me realize that I have enough. These words, they are easier to digest today. The words, are seen through eyes that are not clouded by pain, and despair, and doubt. I think it is so very important to remember this in good times, not just in bad. Remember them in health, and not just in sickness.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
-Max Ehrmann, poet

No comments: