Monday, May 20, 2013

Book of the Heart

These are my beautiful grown-up children. My daughter graduated from high school on Saturday, and my son came home to cheer her on. It was a lovely, breezy day--a little hazy in the morning, which kept it comfortable and not too hot, and then the sun came out right when the graduates came out to take pictures with friends and family.

Graduation from Normal Community High School used to be a pretty hot, crowded affair in the gym. You could only invite a few people. Now it takes place in a huge coliseum that also accommodates ice hockey, Olympic volleyball, and the Bob Dylan concert we attended a few years ago, with Elvis Costello as the opening act!


So a jillion people can attend. Comfortably. High up and all around, with a good view of the proceedings and close-ups provided on a big screen (of which I was blissfully unaware any time a camera was aimed at me, fortunately). Because, by happy chance, I was up there on stage at my daughter's graduation, receiving a Distinguished Alumni award, along with Walt Byerly '48 and Judith Preno Boekholder '60. The awards committee was delighted when they found out my daughter was graduating, and I got to read a poem to her class and hug her when she came up for her diploma!

Don't worry. I checked it all out with her beforehand, and she was fine with it. She okayed the poem in advance, too. And her friends liked it. And their families. And that's what matters.

Book of the Heart

The wise ones say to know yourself.  They’re right.
If you don’t learn to know yourself, you might
someday wake up in the middle of the night
afraid, unable to get back to sleep
and wonder if you lived your life right.
But the wise ones, who are many, are very deep.
They know already what you keep
inside you, like a secret flame:
We are all human.  We are the same:
hopeful, yearning, timid, if there’s need,
bold, courageous, able to succeed
at loving one another, if we really try.
That’s all that really matters.  You and I,
we know that, don’t we?  We learned it here,
in the book of the heart, year after year after year.

17 comments:

Maureen said...

How many kids get to hear their mother read a poem at graduation? I think that was special and memorable. Congratulations to your daugher.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Maureen.

What a joy it was!

Margaret said...

Love the poem. Great for graduation!

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Margaret.

seana graham said...

So glad to see pictures of your kids and to hear about this very happy event.

Collagemama said...

What an event with a perfect poem and such handsome young adults. Well done, Mom!

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Seana and Nancy.

ted said...

I am happy for you.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Ted.

Cathy said...

Oh, yay, yay, yay! What a happy day for you and your beautiful children. And the poem is perfect.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Cathy.

Follow-up joy: My daughter's friends and classmates keep telling me or her how much they liked the poem. So it hit the spot for them.

I feel kind of like a poet laureate of my high school, writing a poem for a great occasion! A nice, short poem!!

Hannah Stephenson said...

I agree...that is so sweet and touching! What a beautiful poem and day--congratulations to your daughter.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Hannah.

Paula Moore said...

Kathleen,

They are gorgeous children with an equally gorgeous and talented mother.Thank you for sharing with us and your lovely poem. Best to all ~

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Paula.

sarah gutowski said...

Lovely! And congratulations!

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Sarah!