For my son

I’ve been away from my blog, and pretty much everything online, for the past week because of a big, joyous family event — my son’s bar mitzvah! My little guy is 13, and (according to Jewish tradition, if not reality), a man!

The celebration was wonderful, my kiddo did an amazing job, and it was great (but exhausting) to have family and friends visiting from all across the country. I managed to get through the ceremony itself without shedding any tears, but I was absolutely bursting with love and pride.

I gave a little talk as part of the service, focusing on the kiddo’s achievements and my hopes and prayers for his future. I kept it pretty brief and straight-forward, because he didn’t want to have to stand there while I engaged in emotional drama, so I didn’t include one thing that I really had hoped to fit in.

I came across this incredible poem last week, and felt that it summed up so perfectly what I wish for my son. I couldn’t include it at the bar mitzvah, but didn’t want to not use it in some way, and hope to find some nice way to share it with the kiddo (in a way that he won’t think is lame).

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share it here, and hope that you all find it as beautiful as I do.


Please Bring Strange Things
by Ursula LeGuin

Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.

16 thoughts on “For my son

  1. A huge congratulations on the little guy becoming a man! If I remember rightly, this is a huge right of passage πŸ™‚ I’m glad it went well!

    The poem you shared is beautiful, my favourite line is, “may you smell food cooking when you have not eaten”. It’s so beautiful. Not only does the poem wish e everything for survival, but also for a good adventure too!

    I hope you find a way to share it with your son πŸ™‚ maybe have it printed in a fancy font with a nice pic? (Like the natural ones from your last holiday!) Or, if you craft, doing something artsy πŸ™‚ I like the idea of it cross-stitched.

    All the best,
    Amy x

    • Thank you! I love how the poem wishes adventure and openness to new experiences — but keeping a connection to home and family too. (Oh god, I’m going to be one of those moms who can’t let go, aren’t I?) I like the idea of printing it in some sort of special way. I like the cross-stitch idea too, except it would probably take me until his wedding to finish it! πŸ™‚

      • At least it’d make a good wedding present! It’d have meaning there too. Always look on the bright side πŸ˜‰ he he. Though I definitely have to agree on the time front, they take forever.
        Also, there’s nothing wrong with being one of “those” mums lol. It’s means you care πŸ™‚ to me that’s the best type.
        Ok, here’s another idea on the printed front… Woodland or lake background pic… Solid box of colour in the middle (a colour that meshes well with the natural background, so blue or white for lake, brown or green for woodland, etc) and the poem typed inside it! It’d be easy to do on a PC πŸ™‚ and faster than a cross stitch too! I’d frame it and give it as a gift x

      • Sorry, extra on that idea. If possible you could even make the solid colour box semi-transparent so you can still see the pic AND read the poem πŸ˜€ it’d be like one of those motivational/inspirational posters x

  2. Pingback: Stories & Shout Outs #5 – Brona's Books

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