Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self care

Love After Love
The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving
 at your own door, in your own mirror
 and each will smile at the other's welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self. 
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, 
to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life. 
 ––Derek Walcott

The Photographs 
Spanning Many Years
Many Roles
~ The Sweet Fragrance of Childhood ~

Student on Trip to England with Professor
Teacher in Classroom

Wife of
High School Principal
Mother of Five Children
Grandmother of Seven

April is National Poetry Month

Grandmother at Journey into Elderhood (click on either word to find her blog) posted the poem above on her blog today.  I was reminded that I had posted this same poem in December of 2009.  I have added a few photos to that original blog entry and am reposting it today.  "Love After Love" is one of my favorite poems.  Just as it did in 2009, it speaks to me again of the importance of self care.  I continue on that journey of finding "that stranger who was yourself."

Repost of thoughts about this poem from blog entry posted in December of 2009:

We play many roles in this life.  As mothers, as sisters, as wives, as teachers, I think we don't always take good enough care of ourselves. Not only do we neglect ourselves, but we sometimes find that we have become "the stranger who was your self."

At the end of 2009, I am working on becoming reacquainted with my self. What do I really want to do with the remaining years that I have left? What is really important? What remains in my life, and what do I discard?

I hope to start taking down those "love letters from the bookshelf" and explore who I was, who I have become, and what it all means. The demands of motherhood, career, and professional responsibilities are now behind me. It will be interesting to see what choices I make in 2010.