What Remains
By Lisa McCrohan

I see now how this life is fleeting.
Every breath,
every time my little ones
wrap their tiny arms around my neck
and shout, “Mama!,” every gleeful plea for
“one more story” at bedtime
is holy

ripe and ready in this moment to savor,
then it is gone.

Like a breeze that flutters the curtains in my room,
kisses my skin on a warm summer night,
then returns to where it came
and only stillness remains –
I see how fleeting my life is.

Suddenly from darkness I am born,
I caress this world with my gentle presence
for only a short while,
then I return to where I came
and I am no more in this form.
What remains?

I want it to be my thousand gentle kisses on
my children’s forehead before going to school,

my slow caress on their backs they’ve felt
a million times as they drift off to sleep,

my voice of steadfast encouragement
at decisive moments to leap and
follow their hearts,

their inner prompting to notice suffering
and respond with compassion
as they’ve seen my hands
and heard my soothing words
hundreds of times on ordinary days,

the everyday moments of me returning to
my holy stillness that slowly filled them –
like sweet, sacred drops of holy water –
with an inner quiet that sustains them
when life shakes them,

the words I’ve whispered into their being
a million times a million times,

“You are my delight.”

Lisa A. McCrohan, © 2014


Dear readers, in the “everydayness” of parenting, it can be hard to “parent the bigger picture in mind.”  We are focused on getting out the door, making sure everyone has shoes and sunscreen on, and what in the world we’ll have for dinner tonight.  The challenge becomes – can we go about the tasks of daily life while we parent with the bigger picture in mind?  What do we want to remain when our children are grown?  When they have children of their own?  When we are gone?

When we answer those questions, the “now” becomes ripe with opportunity for filling our children with what we want them to remember, embody and become many years from now.  How you talk today, how you pause and listen, how you caress their backs, read them a story, and show them how to care for themselves by YOU caring for YOU with quiet moments of stillness — this all gets weaved into their being.  It comes who they are.  AND how they carry you with them.

This can really focus us.  And in a culture of so much distraction, we need focus.  So this season -whether it be summer like us in North America, or winter half way around the world, take some time to reflect on this:  “When I am gone what do I want to remain with my children?”

Blessings for a season of holding what matters.


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