Our Living Arrow Flies Forth
So much has happened since I last published a blog entry, it’s difficult to start writing again- where do I start? I have been writing, but in other venues. I wrote a sermon, and I wrote a piece for a patient support web site. More on that in subsequent posts. Right now, I want to write about our daughter Ana.
When I think of her, I think of what Kahlil Gibran wrote about children in The Prophet:
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.
It’s been quite a while since our daughter passed the boundary between youth and adult. She makes her own decisions, she manages her own money, and she does her own tax returns. This past February, she confirmed her fully adult status through three major accomplishments: she got a wonderful job offer, defended her PhD thesis with great success, and married the man she has loved for more than a decade.
She is coming back to the States, and has a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Immediately after a busy job search that included air travel, she defended her thesis. Ana hit it out of the park, and has since won the award for the best mathematical thesis to be presented this year at McGill.
Almost immediately after that, Ana was married in our home. She and Michael met when they were both 15 years old, and there has never been anyone else for either of them. They have grown up together, and they have stayed together through all their changes. We both love Michael, and made him part of our family years ago.
It was a perfect, very small wedding consisting of twelve people in all: the bride and groom, parents and siblings, and two of their friends who were their witnesses. I baked blueberry and pumpkin pies instead of making a cake, and we toasted the newlyweds with Quebec hard cider. Afterwards, we all went out to dinner to an excellent restaurant, and ordered off of the menu. There were echoes of my own small, homemade wedding 33 years ago: the bride made her own dress, and they were married in nearly the same spot where Robert and I were married. Then it was a small deck on a wooded hillside, now it is our living room.
Even as I type these words, Ana and a friend are driving a U-Haul truck to her new home. Alas, Michael is still in Montreal. They have applied for a spousal visa for him to be able to live and work in the US, but he does not yet have the piece of paper, so they will have to live apart for a while.
We have done our best to be good parents, and I do believe that the arrow we sent forth is flying swift and far.