Making lunch on a sunny afternoon Melting cheese and toasting bread Jostling gently around the kitchen Ruffling the hair on your head Knowing that you will leave us soon The stairs will miss your heavy tread Thinking how the years have passed How your growing up has sped
As children, we would go carolling around the neighbourhood. This carol was always a favourite:
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by; yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary, and, gathered all above while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond’ring love. O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth, and praises sing to God the King and peace to all the earth.
How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is giv’n! So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heav’n. No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray, cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel!
Author: Phillips Brooks
Phillips Brooks was born at Boston, Dec. 13, 1835, graduated at Harvard College 1855, and was ordained in 1859. Successively Rector of the Church of the Advent, Philadelphia, and Trinity Church, Boston, he became Bishop of Mass. in 1891, and died at Boston in Jan., 1893. His Carol, “O little town of Bethlehem,” was written for his Sunday School in 1868, the author having spent Christmas, 1866, at Bethlehem.
You cuddle up to me in your sleep, comforted by mother warmth What do you dream little man, my child full of wonder You exhaust me by day and then enthrall me at your time of sleeping Always asking for more, lifting my soul and life Every day is an adventure for us As I discover the world in and through your eyes
All bets are off in the teenage years You still share your child’s hopes and fears But they are a child no more –Can you hear that slammed door? It’s a bumpy ride–Sometimes Jekyll, sometimes Hyde You love them to bits, you can’t stand them anymore And there again is that slamming door You glimpse a young woman, you glimpse a young man –Try to catch them if you can Sometimes it seems they’re a toddler again –Needing to share some of the pain Do you remember when this was you? Now you know what your parents went through……
Here in a new box, old coins we spill them onto the carpet and small fingers pick out treasures. A farthing, worn smooth once the price of a meal Indian rupees, Iraqi drachma souvenirs of imperial service I think of my Grampee young and splendid in uniform. My sons make pirate cries.
Baby brother is dressed up
to collect his sisters from
school st home time.
Great Grandma knitted his bright
striped beanie, cousin Paul grew
out of the dashing dinosaur leggings;
little friend Oliver passed on the
jacket with Barney on it. The
tiny tartan sneakers came from
Sarah over the road, she’s at
kindergarten now, nearly a big girl.
Yes the big girls at school
will gush and coo and gasp
over him – he enjoys that already.
Mummy thinks he is cool too.
Holding him on her hip she
tickles his ribs with her free hand.
He giggles and wriggles
wiggles and jiggles
chuckles then shrieks
grinning from ear to ear
My youngest son is rushing
from the sharp hills of adolescence
over rocks and stones, always onwards
like a river to an unfathomable ocean
His thoughts are deep
his soul ancient, older than the flow
kept within his banks
He bickers down valleys
sometimes stilled, mostly calm
until an overflow of joy
forces a burst, a breaking of the levee
and he talks, oh he talks
of his passions, fears and hopes
as a waterfall speaking to the wind
Who will dive into his depths
see the treasures within clear waters
bring them to the surface
for the world to see
Here lies, to each her parents’ ruth, Mary, the daughter of their youth; Yet all heaven’s gifts being heaven’s due, It makes the father less to rue. At six months’ end she parted hence With safety of her innocence; Whose soul heaven’s queen, whose name she bears, In comfort of her mother’s tears, Hath placed amongst her virgin-train: Where, while that severed doth remain, This grave partakes the fleshly birth; Which cover lightly, gentle earth!