Dear Child of Nature…
DEAR Child of Nature, let them rail!
–There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold;
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see
Thy own heart-stirring days, and be
A light to young and old.
There, healthy as a shepherd boy,
And treading among flowers of joy
Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling,
Shalt show us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
—William Wordsworth, 1805
“To A Young Lady Who Had Been Reproached For Taking Long Walks In The Country” speaks volumes to me. When it comes to writing, poetry was my first love. I myself was not, and am not, a poet. Oh, but how I loved the romanticism of the perfectly timed and rhymed words I poured over in high school! And this particular piece by Wordsworth resonates with me perhaps even more today than ever. I take on too much. Classroom mom, PTA, community HOA, freelancing, direct sales…on and on.
And yet I long to be a child of nature, to grasp what’s left of my gypsy soul that has been buried deep under my prim and proper mommyhood role. To “let them rail!” when I dismiss the ever growing to-do list. Oddly enough, my children would probably prefer my “child of nature” persona more than the mommy they usually get. “Thou, while thy babes around thee cling, Shalt show us how divine a thing, A Woman may be made.”
I was blessed enough to visit Wordsworth’s home, Dove Cottage, in England’s Lake District when I spent the summer between my junior and senior year of college studying at Oxford University.
There, amid mossy covered nature, Wordsworth wrote. Here I escape to in my mind whenever life gets too serious, too demanding, too much…so that I may once again be a “child of nature”…or at least try to be in my mind.