Little ones wanting to be grown. Grown-ups desiring youth. One-Year-Old Poem by Hugo (April 2016)

Susan's Thursday morning note April 21, 2016
Little ones wanting to be grown.  Grown-ups desiring youth.  Victor Hugo poem one-year-old poem.

Good morning.  Little worms wishing they weren’t born as worms as they are lifted with ease to their demise.  Robins dancing in their feast after the rains.  Twigs being dragged across the sidewalk by a determined little friend.  I wonder where her bird house is.  Where is she heading with her stash?  Should I toss out some cotton balls she can put in for pillows?  If only I was given time to see the entire progression of the little life of my mother bird.  What will her day bring her?  Her angel of dawn is handing her sunshine, twigs, worms, stillness.  A perfect combination for her housekeeping list.  My home brings me a small child desiring years added to his life.  Little does he realize that I look down at him desiring years taken off of my life so ours will intertwine longer.   One of my favorite poems was written 200 years ago by Victor Hugo.  The final lines on continuing to be surprised by flowers, loving songbirds, and having children in our lives to keep our minds on what is beautiful. 

One-Year-Old by Victor Hugo
When he arrived, the family clapped their hands and called to him. 
his sweet look made our looks more tender. 
Even the saddest, the most haggard face would smile to see him innocent and happy..

With June green at the threshold, or November splashing firelight on the hearth,
chairs drawn close by evening, when he came, his joy contained us in its clarity:
we laughed, we called to him, his mother caught her breath to see him walk.

Sometimes, stirring up the fire, we spoke about great causes: justice, truth, and art,
souls stirred by passion; but, when he arrived, our high talk stopped –
God, Art, and the Republic – all suspended in a smile.

As if, at night, when every mind must sleep, in dreams where waves among the reeds make
low sobs like a woman's voice, as if dawn swept up like a beacon
over the wide fields, rousing into fanfare all the great bells and the songbirds —

Child!  you are that dawn to me, and in my soul wildflowers steeped in sunlight breathe their balm
when your breath brushes mine. 
In these dark woods in me black branches burgeon for you only, and turn gold at sunrise, filling with sweet
murmurs.

Because your eyes are infinitely tender, because your small hands, joyful, wholly blessed,
have wronged no one ever, your steps never touch our filth, your head
is sacred, your blond hair makes visible the aura of angelic thought.

You see a world beyond mere understanding. In your body nothing is unclean,
nothing in your soul impure!   Your gaze, astonished, ravished, wanders —
everywhere you offer up your soul to life and your mouth to kisses! 

Lord, keep me, and keep the ones I love, my brothers, kinsmen, friends – worst enemies:
preserve us from the hell of summer unsurprised by flowers, from the bare cage
without songbirds, from the hive the bees deserted, and the house unvisited by children.

“…Everywhere you offer up your soul to life.  How do we continue that after we’ve “grown up”?  Can we continue to be surprised by flowers?  Can we continue to notice details? To offer up our souls to life.  I love that line.  Life.  All around us is such beauty.  Can we stop, as the scene by the fire…stop and catch our breaths with what we have given to us?  Regardless of what has been “taken away”?  Stop.  Wholly blessed?  Stop.  Praying to regain the purity of childhood.  Stop.  Praying for the ability to hear the songbirds, to notice the flowers, and to look into the eyes of the children that enter our worlds?  Stop.  Long enough to look into the eyes of each that are enter our world?  Stop.  Notice.  Offer up our souls to life?  Today. Beautiful gift from our angel of dawn.  She is staying at my windowsill longer today.  Realizing I need a little more of her eyes to keep my mind on what is truly eternal.  What is beautiful.  What is real.  To encourage me to look to the heavens.  To look up.  Where immediate peace is given.  Thank you for letting me enter your Thursday.  For coming to our store for your books, your gifts, your candy, your toys, and your friendship.  We’ll have the coffee and smiles waiting for you.  A moment away from your world.  Maybe you’ll walk away next time with a book whose words will change your life.  Susan


Latin for this week: 
Maxima debater puero reverentia – We owe the greatest respect to a child ….

Works Cited:
Hugo, Victor.  Selected Poems.  Penguin Putnam.  2002.