"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

25 April 2005

Eyes of Eve

My four-year-old granddaughter stands on the porch, eagerly awaiting my son-in-law and my husband as they return from the store. But the resemblance is so striking, I find myself suspended for a moment in time. Surely it is my daughter bouncing at the edge of the steps, awaiting my husband and my father . . . am I mother or grandmother to the child on the porch?

E.B. White, writing of such a suspension in “Once More to the Lake,” sees it as an intimation of his mortality. For me, it is a confirmation of immortality, of the continuity of life, generation following generation through the centuries . . . Later, we sit at the table counting cupcakes, and as I look into those deep brown eyes – inherited not only from her mother but from her other grandmother and both her great-grandmothers – I realize I am looking into the eyes of Eve, the mother of us all.


Cindy said...

What?!? You're stopping there?!? Keep going! There's something else here. It's going places, and I want to witness the journey.

(And besides, it's just plain lovely to read, and I don't want to stop.)

alaiyo said...

Give me time! Give me time! Last week of classes, then finals -- then maybe I'll actually be able to think! :-)

(By the way, thanks!)

amelia ruth said...

Well, once again you've managed to distract me from the more pressing concerns of my Southern Lit paper.

The concept of time is one I have struggled with; perhaps it is because I love where I am in life right now. I feel like in the blink of an eye I'm going to be my mother, and not know where the time has gone. Proverbs always convicts me when it says "she can laugh at the days to come" because so often I am fearful instead of laughing. How much better to think of how I fit in the vast picture from Eve to the final generation of women, allowing God to use me in the present instead of trying to hold onto today so tightly that I am good for nothing.

Thank you for a beautiful post, and another chance to think about my ultimate identity.

You got to stop with these incredible posts of yours, or I'm never going to get any work done!

alaiyo said...

So, Miss Amy, am I to accept responsibility if you don't turn in your philosophy paper tomorrow? :-)

Do, do enjoy today; love where you are. I have read that Edith Schaffer used to say to her children something like "What can you do today, while you are [whatever ages at the time] that you will not be able to do some other day?" Wisdom to prepare for the future, yes, but to prepare for it by living now.

Time does fly. Wisdom to use it well and not let it pass by and leave us with regrets for what we can no longer do because the time for it is past.

This is why I am feeling an increasing urgency to understand how to know what I am called to do and what it is not mine to do. Doing that which is not mine will mean that I have not done that which is mine.

amelia ruth said...

I turned it in!