In part because my Ahi tuna burger/margarita lunch left me too tired to swim again right now, and in part because the winds are so strong today that my skin has already had a thorough sand-exfoliation, I’m sitting in my tiny little corner room at the Paia Inn right now, about to read my novel, but true to my personality, examining my life first.
Is this a good thing to do on a holiday? I don’t know, but it happens to me. And of course in this age of WiFi everywhere, reflection often involves the Internet, which is how I came across a poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall just now, which, given the personality I’ve worn for endless years now, resonated with me. The good-byes it refers to at the end are of course, in my mind, not only relational good-byes, but all the many good-byes we must all say throughout our lives.
It may mean nothing to most of you, but on the off-chance it will resonate with one of my readers, here it is.
After a While, by Veronica Shoffstall
After a while you learn / The subtle difference between / Holding a hand and chaining a soul / And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning / And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn / That kisses aren’t contracts / And presents aren’t promises / And you begin to accept your defeats / With your head up and your eyes ahead / With the grace of a woman / Not the grief of a child
And you learn / To build all your roads on today / Because tomorrow’s ground is / Too uncertain for plans / And futures have a way / Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn / That even sunshine burns if you get too much / So you plant your own garden / And decorate your own soul / Instead of waiting / For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn / That you really can endure / That you are really strong / And you really do have worth / And you learn and you learn / With every good bye you learn.