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Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

I love this poem. I remember it every fall. I first read it in the book The Outsiders, way back when I was a young girl, and I searched it out and memorized it, just for the joy of knowing the words. Robert Frost writes in a way that wriggles into that deep, deep hot place, in heart or soul or gut or wherever the emotion of words lives, and this poem was my introduction.

I can’t say these lines without thinking of The Outsiders, of Ponyboy and Johnny and the inevitable passage of time and innocence. Now, I can’t think of it without seeing the faces of my own boys, growing so quickly up and away. The things that have and will touch them, for good or not, for joy or pain, dulling the freshness of youth with the reality of living and old-ing. And I agree with Johnny, his dying words for his friend…

Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Today I’m noticing Fall colour and Robert Frost and praying gold over my boys.

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