Saturday, 29 July 2006

Return of the Princess

She's home! My baby is home again after 10 months in Europe.

I'm happy and relieved. As Paul says, our family is again complete.

I didn't cry at the airport homecoming this time. What do you expect? I'm her mother! LOL When the Crown Princess and Prince returned from their gap year student exchanges (in January of 2000 & 2002 respectively), I didn't see them for the 12 months they were gone, so as I hugged them close to my heart for that very first time, I cried like a dam had burst. Paul and I caught up with GFT in Austria and took her on tour in June/July so I used up a whole heap of 'welcome home' tears back then.

Brisbane life will continue for GFT. Having had three of us go overseas for a year or so (I spent a year in France in 1998/9), we know how unsettled she will be over the next few months. There is a wanderlust that grips one's heart and guts that never quite goes away but is like a sleeping giant within waiting for the moment when one knows it's time to go away again. There is also that big question mark hanging overhead that demands 'what next?' Everything at home seems to be as one left it but inside one doesn't feel the same. For a while, life as one knew it is all a bit flat - daily routines, Mum & Paul, Dad and siblings. It doesn't stay that way though because living cannot yet stop and new things keep arriving which bring reasons to smile.

Please say some prayers for our GFT - that she settles without hassles into life in Brisbane and that she gets successfully through the last 18 months of high school.

Happiness and laughter is wished for one and all. I leave you today with the poem from the irish poet W.B. Yates 'Prayer For My Daughter'.


A Prayer for my Daughter
by W. B. Yeats

Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory's wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind,
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-leggèd smith for man.
It's certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty's very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there's no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty's horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

1 comment:

Meagan said...

What a lovely poem. Thinking of Gabriella, and certainly know how she will be feeling.