Gold in my Hands

It is Saturday morning, and quiet, except for the sound of rain splashing out of the gutter into the empty clay flower pots beside the house. I sit at the kitchen table, lit naturally by two great windows and the pale peach glimmer of the candle warming my little white teapot. On the other side of the room, the small window above the sink is open a few inches, letting in the spring-soaked smell of rain and the music of its falling—almost like bells in the distance.

 

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On that windowsill sits a tiny earthen vase containing three mini daffodils. They sing with remembrance of my mother’s beautiful spirit, which filled rainy Saturday mornings of my past with light and joy. They sing of anticipation and longing, and of the present moment’s pleasure. They sing of loss’s pain, of the inability to remain.

 

I think of Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”:

 

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

 

Once, while I admired a new golden-edged volume of Frost’s poetry at Barnes and Noble, an elderly man told me about his experience with this poem. One day, this man, his wife and daughter had a random conversation in which his daughter said that if she were to die, she wanted “Nothing Gold Can Stay” read at her funeral.

 

Sadly, she died unexpectedly not many months later. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” became her memorial.

 

My heart wants gold to stay, to last forever. And truly, it does—but not on this plane of existence. How deep is the gold of heaven’s daffodils, how luminous the glory of heaven’s leaves? How healing is the fruit of its trees, how pure is the water of its river?

 

The loveliest of moments here give only hints. The tiniest of glories, the birdsong of spring, the treasure of relationships all point to something richer, deeper, forever. How radiant now is my mother’s spirit? One day I will see for myself.

 

In the meantime, I snip the flowers at their stems and bring them in to stay for as long as they can. I hold the gold while it’s here, before I am forced to let it go.

 

 

2 Responses to “ “Gold in my Hands”

  1. Jeff Goins says:

    I'm feeling pretty introspective this rainy morning, as well!

  2. Dianne says:

    You and Robert Frost make a lovely writing combination : )

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