Thursday, September 05, 2019

Poetry Friday: Our *Last* First Day of School

Although Ramona started French class as an early-enrollment student at the college a couple of weeks ago, I have always waited to "officially" start our homeschool after Labor Day and this year is no different.

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.) 


tanita✿davis said...

A senior. WOW.
Congratulations - and bonne chance. Repining happens to all of us eventually, but here's to having no time for it during these first steps into the future.

Linda B said...

"now dream of coming gloom" but something good will always be there, always coming. What a year you have to look forward to, Karen. So many have had their "last, first day" of my friends, or the goodbye at college. No, we cannot repine! Thanks for sharing such a poem of positive outlook! And best wishes for a special year!

Liz said...

Oh my, it can't be. I remember when she was born. Cannot really be that many years ago? Well since my daughter, who was still in high school then, now has a ten year old, I guess it can be. Ironically, I'm back to teaching homeschoolers again. Not my own, but the teenagers of my former students. Can I just say that teaching a book frequently looks different the 3rd or 4th time around (or maybe it's just more insight with age).

penelope said...

Isn't it astonishing, Karen!? Where did all the time go ... My Thomas is also 17 and after having homeschooled him and his older siblings all the way through, and he's my baby, ... ah, this will be a bittersweet year for me! What an incredible gift. We are so very blessed to have been graced with the great good gift of motherhood.


jama said...

Can't believe Ramona is a senior! Good luck to both of you on a new school year -- hope it's especially memorable.

Joyce Ray said...

This is a beautiful sonnet. Best wishes as you both savor the last year of your endeavors.

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

You and I are in the same space this year. My youngest is a senior, and it's also our final year of homeschooling. It's the first year I've only had one student, and I'm lookng forward to these last few bittersweet months of it just being the two of us.

Kay said...

What a beautiful sonnet to capture this moment. I hope you and your daughter can savor and enjoy all that this year brings.

Sylvia Vardell said...

So lovely, so personal! Thanks for sharing this momentous end-beginning with our Poetry Friday circle!

jan godown annino said...

Hi dear Karen,

So glad for the intro to Henrietta.

Happy New Vibrant School Year & best wishes for your daughter's next great leap.

The image of the jar is compelling, like something from a beloved museum.

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, all, for joining in our beginning and our ending. :)

Jan, when I stumbled on the photo of the jar, it seemed perfect this post -- reminding me of stars and fireflies, memories, and "n inner jar of conflict" as mentioned in the poem. Glad you liked it, too!