Daughter graduating. “High School Senior” poem from Mother’s perspective by Sharon Olds from “She Walks In Beauty” poetry compiled by Caroline Kennedy. (Apr. 2011)

Susan's Thursday morning note April 28, 2011 
She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems selections by Caroline Kennedy
     High School Senior by Sharon Olds
Good morning (almost afternoon!)!   FINALLY our first tulip opened this morning…for two days we can live the elusive idea of spring until it’s cold again!   This week I received a book I’ve looked forward to opening, a new book of poetry selected by Caroline Kennedy, She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems.  This beautiful book is a compilation divided into milestones of a woman’s life…including these sections: falling in love, breaking up, friendship, marriage, motherhood, work, beauty, silence, solitude, growing up, growing old, friendship, death & grief, how to live.  I have had a hard time deciding which to enter for you today, but love one on a daughter graduating – for the words remind me of every stage of letting go of our children’s presence, regardless of baby to toddler, toddler to childhood, young adults, graduations, weddings, moving, possibly death….all in relationships with those we love, even if not our children.  The final few lines – how they are in us…changing chambers in our hearts as we go through changes.  I love the picture.  The next poem is a beautiful blessing and prayer – accepting our gift of life, regardless of what we have, what we wish for, what we’ve lost – the remembrance of the beauty of the day given to us.  Life.  We are where we are meant to be.  This would be a beautiful Mother’s Day gift.  It just came out, so only in hardback, but let me know if you’d like me to get one in for you!
High School Senior by Sharon Olds
For seventeen years, her breath in the house
at night, puff, puff, like summer
cumulus above her bed,
and her scalp smelling of apricots
– this being who had formed within me,
squatted like a bright tree-frog in the dark,
like an eohippus she had come out of history
slowly, through me, into the daylight,
I had the daily sight of her,
like food or air she was there, like a mother.
I say “college,” but I feel as if I cannot tell
the difference between her leaving for college
and our parting forever – I try to see
this house without her, without her pure
depth of feeling, without her creek-brown hair, her daedal hands with their tapered
fingers, her pupils dark as the mourning cloak’s
wing, but I can’t.  Seventeen years
ago, in this room, she moved inside me,
I looked at the river, I could not imagine
my life with her.  I gazed across the street,
and saw, in the icy winter sun,
a column of steam rush up away from the earth.
There are creatures whose children float away
at birth, and those who throat-feed their young
for weeks and never see them again.  My daughter
is free and she is in me – no, my love
of her is in me, moving in my heart,
changing chambers, like something poured
from hand to hand, to be weighed and then reweighed.
May today there be peace within by St. Teresa of Avila
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the
    love that
has been given to you…
May you be content knowing you are a child of God…
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the
    freedom to
sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
Have a beautiful day!  Take time to do something for your soul…read poetry, read a great book, read a line (grin), something to think about that isn’t just the realities of a normal day.  May you have peace within, as St. Teresa of Avila writes for us.  Such beautiful words.  Thank you for all your encouragement, your notes, your business – we love having our store and finding treasures!  Three more days this month to register for our drawing!  I hope you will have a chance to run in & help with our gift certificate give-away – get in on this with us if you need a few gifts!   If you don’t live near here, you can call and we can send gifts or gift certificates for you & enter you in the drawing, also!   Susan
Latin for this week:
alis volat propriss - She flies with her own wings.

Works Cited:
Kennedy, Caroline.  She Walks in Beauty.  New York.  Harper Collins.  2011.