Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What is truly important?

Oasis Reflection:
This week, I've been thinking about how we need to remember to teach our children what is fundamentally important in life. Mary Dow Brine's poem,"Somebody's Mother"
(Writer's Almanac/Feb 16, 2010) touched my heart.


Somebody's Mother
by Mary Dow Brine

The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the Winter's day.
The street was wet with a recent snow
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.
Down the street with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of 'school let out,'
Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep.
Past the woman so old and gray
Hastened the children on their way.
Nor offered a helping hand to her—
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir
Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.
At last came one of the merry troop,
The gayest lad of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,
"I'll help you cross, if you wish to go."
Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.
"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow,
And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,
If ever she's poor and old and grey,
And her own dear boy is far away."
"Somebody's mother" bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said
Was, "God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody's son, and pride and joy!"

(Public domain)


I think most of us hope to raise our children with the skills to be successful in life but do we remember that compassion for others is essential for a health and harmony?

These words are written on my prayer flags...

May we all reflect and connect with others while sharing the best we have to offer.

May we create harmony...and be harmonous. (I'm sending this thought to myself as well.)

May February's theme of love radiate throughout your life and all it's creations.


  1. I read that poem at Writer's Almanac this morning, too. :) I like the idea of prayer flags. Can you elaborate on yours?

  2. Perfect! Yes, these are the skills and qualities to teach. Thank you, Cynthia.

  3. Cynthia
    As a lover of people in general..and one with 5 kids, I cannot think of a greater need to teach our children than to love those that you share the planet with. Especially those that have lived a full life before us...such power, wisdom and riches to tap in to...thanks for sharing.

  4. That is a touching poem. From the glimpses I've seen of your family, you are passing on the lesson of compassion so well. It must be bittersweet, thinking of your own departed mother and the lack of compassion that ended her life.

  5. this is a beautiful poem, i have read it before and always, when i do, i hope my own sons will be so thoughtful and my daughter as well...we can only teach them and let them go their own way with hopes on a wing and a prayer.

  6. This was the first time that I had read that poem and it just flowed, without getting too overly sentimental.

    I agree with your flag messages - I'm trying to become more harmonious and less excitable.


  7. What lovely words Cynthia....hey, my old friend, i've missed you ;) Have been offline mostly for some time but am back and raring to go :)))

  8. Susan,
    They are metaphoric, Susan. But I have hung flags on our Bodhi tree outside for peace and freedom for Tibet...it's a way of focusing like lighting a candle. Do you have a method? When I was traveling in Trinidad I saw prayer flags all around. xx Thanks for coming over.

    Heidi,hi there! You must have your hands full with five children. (My mom had five as well.) Thanks for commenting and joining- I love PR too!

    Vicki, thanks for coming over! xx
    Lakeviewer (Rosaria)Yes, you are the model...your comments about your children let me know that you too value the quality of kindness.

    Thanks Sarah. I appreciate your thoughts. My mom never had the chance to get old...so that is bittersweet. (I think of the homeless when I read this poem.)
    thanks for the visit. I'm sure your own daughter is as kind as you are- someone who always takes time to write and reflect compassion.xx

    Mrs. FF, yes, I am surrounded by a bit too much "excitement"-sometimes- expecially in the crazy traffic here. I'm working on disconnecting from the chaos.xx

    Braja, good to see you here! It seems as if the break gave you a chance to recharge. It's good to reconnect. (I'll come over to visit soon.)xx

  9. Hi Cynthia,
    I'm enjoying getting caught up on some blogger friends while watching olympics by the fire.
    Great thoughts you share!


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