05 June 2012

no man is an island

john donne aptly wrote:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. 

last saturday three friends left their families to accompany the Mister and our boy of 13 years on a hike through the lovely wooded trails of middle tennessee. these men who have known my boy, who have encouraged him, who have listened to him, who have availed themselves to his questions and inquiry, who have literally walked with him for the past several years-walked with him into the woods. i am told there was some exhorting that happened, some meditation, some reading. i cannot be sure since it was a guy's only trip, but when they came out of the trees that hot day in May, i do believe my boy was a little changed. a little sobered maybe. a little thankful. a little humbled. standing amongst the tallest of trees and considering the creator. recognizing the value of friendship. seeing the care these men-who-are-not-his-father have for him. o, what a splendid and divine thing! it is with the most grateful of hearts i call these men our friends. 
those first words written by john donne are repeated in my mind and lived out in my life-no man is an island. if there is one truth i wish to whisper to my children {albeit sometimes i yell it} it is these words. i wonder if when he wrote this passage from his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions he knew the fanfare his words would gain in the movie About a Boy. never. i wonder if he knew how impactive they would be to a mother many hundreds of years after who would take this meditation 17 and fashion it into a little narration fitting for a boy of 13 years. surely he must've.
all photographs courtesy of Mike Jones

No comments: