"I sat this afternoon to read during the boys’ nap. I was going through the botanical theory book and while I was reading I remembered something Blue Horse said to me back before Gilbert was born. He said wisdom is not a path, it is a tree. At the time I was too busy to give it much thought, so I nodded politely but didn’t pay much attention. Now I see that he was surely right. I have been sad almost a whole year, thinking that taking that test was somehow the end of my learning and that not having that as a possibility in my future left a big empty spot in my life that the children and the ranch didn’t fill. But my life is not like that, it is a tree, and I can stay in one place and spread out in all directions, and I can do more learning shading this brood of mine that if I was all alone. I declare, it is like some other part of me made up some rules about happiness and I just went along with them without thinking. My heart in lightened so much that I am amazed at how sad I felt for so long.”
- Sarah Prine in "These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1091” by Nancy E. Turner, pg. 318.
I feel grounded
choked down by laundry, children, dishes, covenants
choices already made
Time is racing past me
the march of degrees, careers, travel, experience
steadily passing me by
like hikers on a mountain trail.
They get closer to the top,
I am so far behind
How will I ever catch up?
So I start planning.
A master's degree
or a PhD?
(ancient studies, perhaps)
My heart starts out,
that narrow, aspiring climb.
I feel the rush of an adventure,
the exhilaration of a calling,
and the allure of that high mountain peak.
Then I hear a familiar whisper,
the hurried steps of little feet
and I see that there is not enough room on that path
Someone will be left behind
Sending my roots deeper and deeper,
by the lives of those who have gone before.
my branches reaching higher
into the future.
Welcoming all who wish to rest,
(the librarian knows me by name)
(still typing long after everyone has gone to bed )
Let the climbers pass me by.
My life is not a path
to be followed, planned or reached.
My life is a tree
My branches soar into the heavens
and reach wide as eternity.
That mountain peak is already
far below me,
and as I glance upwards
I see that my possibilities for growth