Well, one thing is different.
Today is the last first-day-of-school for Ramona and me. My last first-day-of-homeschooling forever. She's a senior this year. (Whaaaat?) We have thoughts and plans and aspirations for this year, of course. And we'll tackle them fiercely, knowing all the while that we have no idea what this year actually holds.
Have we ever known what a year holds, before that year takes hold of us? Not really. Life has an annoying funhouse quality, with unexpected twists and surprises around heretofore unseen and unconsidered corners. I love the way this poem by Henrietta Cordelia Ray captures the breathless, naive, but utterly lovable optimism of being human while acknowledging the as-yet unknown shadows and gloom that will inevitably color and shape every life. And yet we soldier on and continue to "climb the slopes of life with throbbing heart."
Here's to a school year propelled by an eager pulse, rich song, and eyes wide-stretched. We cannot repine, Henrietta. No, we cannot repine.
Henrietta Cordelia Ray
We climb the slopes of life with throbbing heart,
And eager pulse, like children toward a star.
Sweet siren music cometh from afar,
To lure us on meanwhile. Responsive start
The nightingales to richer song than Art
Can ever teach. No passing shadows mar
Awhile the dewy skies; no inner jar
Of conflict bids us with our quest to part.
We see adown the distance, rainbow-arched,
What melting aisles of liquid light and bloom!
We hasten, tremulous, with lips all parched,
And eyes wide-stretched, nor dream of coming gloom.
Enough that something held almost divine
Within us ever stirs. Can we repine?
(Photo courtesy of Barbara A. Lane at Pixabay.)