Alpha daughter gave me a gift a while ago. A book of Tao Te Ching poems. For months, it sat in a messy pile on my desk, unopened. I was too busy to slow down to reflect and lose myself in poetry. Time and mood conspire: I found the little book--a mere 120 pages, some with delicate ink-wash drawings--on a day when I was trying to think my way through a messy passage in my life. Among the gems I found in "The Sage's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life" by William Martin, was this sparely written poem that, for all its gentle tone, rips right to the heart of where we are as parents of grown children--or, rather, where we aspire to be.
Like the Full Moon on an Autumn Evening
When we were young/and feeling the need to prove ourselves,/we generated heat and energy/like the noonday sun./ But now we take time to reflect the Tao/and bathe our world in soft silent beauty/like the full moon on an Autumn evening.
An abundance of opinions will generate heat/but accomplish nothing./You no longer have to comment/on each and every little thing./You can observe events with a detached serenity./When you speak,/your words are gentle, helpful, and few./Your silence is as beautiful as the Harvest moon.