The house of tomorrow

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

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.

~ Kahlil Gibran

This poem is for a former colleague of mine, whose first-born son and only child was diagnosed about two weeks ago with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. My medical background consists primarily of a college course in medical terminology so I cannot speculate on the prognosis. It sounds like a very serious disease, though, and right now he is a very sick boy.

He is only 14 months old.

"Baby's hand" by fruity monkey on Flickr

“Baby’s hand” by fruity monkey on Flickr.

I can only imagine what his parents are going through now, facing potentially years of painful procedures, chemo and long hospitalizations for their son with no guarantees (not that anybody gets one, but you know what I mean). They and their doctors will do their best for their boy, and all the rest of us can do is just hope for the best for them, that their living arrow might indeed go swift and far and that his trajectory toward the house of tomorrow will not be cut short so soon.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Elizabeth Stone



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