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Life’s Longing for Itself

by Mary Mazzoni on July 4, 2011

The Archer by Kahlil Gibran

I invite you to take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to receive these timeless words from Kahlil Gibran:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.  For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls.  For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.  For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your chidren as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran, poet, philosopher, artist  (1883-1931), from The Prophet, published 1923

Take Some Time

Is there a word or phrase from this masterpiece that resonates deeply within you?

Take some time to simply be with these words.  Allow yourself to experience whatever response they evoke in you.

Perhaps you’d like to listen to these words read by another person.

Click here if you’d enjoy hearing them read by a child.  Or here to listen to them read by a mother.

This work inspired a beautiful song by Sweet Honey in the Rock which is sung in stunning harmony by three teens here.

You may find, as I have, that these words resonate in new ways in different seasons of life.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness!


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