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Poem: AFTER A WHILE by Veronica Shoffstall

This has been one of my favorite poems since I first read it over a decade ago. In each new season of life that I happen upon it again, it speaks to me with an even greater richness and truth than the time before. I hope you hear the wisdom in the words.

After a While

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman,
Not the grief of a child.
And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground
Is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid-flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns
If you get too much.
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn
And you learn
With every goodbye, you learn.

~ By Veronica A. Shoffstall

Today’s lesson: Seasons change. But the more people learn, the more they grow. Don’t avoid your lessons and resent your growth. Embrace even the pain of bursting through your emotional, psychological and spiritual retaining walls.