A poem for empty nesters

Jamie Lavalle-Marchetti has been a good friend for a decade. Our children went to school together. She knows we’re “empty nesters” in training, so she sent me and Shannon this wonderful poem this morning. I read On Children to Shannon over coffee:

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

“And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you,

“And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.

“You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

“For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

“The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

“Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”


-Khalil Gibran, from The Prophet

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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