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Let Them Fly

Making the decision to have a child—it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. —Elizabeth Stone

Sister Alma Rose Prays for Parents 

Father-Mother God, Almighty One,
beloved source of every blessing, now
encountered intimately, mystically, awakening
delight; now momentarily, a lightning bolt of
blinding clarity; now in the storm, a dim
remembering, a formless, vivid knowing far
beyond the reach of knowledge; you are above,
beneath, within. You are vast thrumming
loveliness—yet some call you invisible.

Thus you send us children to arouse us from
insensibility and ease, for we must follow them
into the wilderness, where strength and
competence are burdensome; surrender is
the only power. On and on you draw us, past
endurance, like the fabled pull of Everest.

Thus you teach us of your immanence just in
the hour of our hubris; thus do you persist in
casting us against the limits that we didn’t even
know existed; yes, you give us children then, as
we begin to think we’ve reached our hearts’
capacity to give unselfishly, to feel another’s
pain, another’s victory. What did we know of
devastation at each small or sudden separation—
even as we wisely guide toward independence,
something dies inside; and yet, such unanticipated
bliss, the joy of souls caressing, in the brushing
of a small boy’s curl from off his forehead, in the
holding of a drowsy little girl exhausted by
the day’s investigations: flowers to be plucked
and yellow pollen blown aloft, and fragile petals,
soft and lavender, examined, gathered in a bowl.

They come not to but through us; they are never
ours to hold, and it is death to try, though feeling
sometimes triumphs over reason. Bless us all,
O God, as we protect them, as we catch them when
they fall, and in their season, let them fly;
for when their wings can bear them up, and
separation comes, and comes again, you are
where you have ever
been.

———–

Photo by ME, of my granddaughter Ava, age 3, at her first T-ball game

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