I left you in the morning,
And in the morning glow,
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?
All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while
That I've been long away.
I had commandeered my father's copy of "The Complete Robert Frost", and reveled in weeks of lying on my bed and getting lost. During my perusal something in Flower Gathering made me pause, and re-read it, as if this was me, in some other time and place I'd been before. I have loved this poem ever since.
There is a passing of something in this poem; love, tension, revelation? The interaction between the two who love each other is one I've grown fond of. Yet something else has just come to mind. The Apostle Paul says in Hebrews that "...not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and they were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. but now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13-16)
The poem has also seemed the sentiment of a life. We leave, bright morning, to live, age, die, in a country that is not our own, for we are strangers and pilgrims. The idea of returning in the evening time, "gaunt and dusty gray with roaming", having been marred and marked. And then the question, "Are you dumb because you know me not, or dumb because you know?" Will Christ, who came to earth to open up the way for our return to that "heavenly country" recognize us? We all roam, become worn, gaunt, gray, and the invitation to all of us is that of continually being washed clean through the journey. My desire has increased, that He might know me, because of the time I spent knowing Him here. "Having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them."
Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of this parallel is the idea that the individual went about gathering flowers during their time away. "..if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (13th article of faith, Joseph Smith) What do we do in our lives, and what have we gathered to take back? It has been a question I have asked myself these last few months as I have noticed quite a few things I could change, and a few more I could add to my life. In a sense that is one of the reasons for this blog; it is my flower gathering.