Misty watercoloured memories

Something rather wonderful and peculiar happened today. I checked out Herman Hesse’s Glass Bead Game from the library today, and as I leafed through it, a postcard fell off the pages.

It was from my mother.

And suddenly I remembered. That book was the first ever book I checked out from the college library in my first week in Oxford. The card, which my mom and my nieces gave to me in the airport when I was leaving Finland to come here, had been there for three years. And now I have come a full circle, from one departure to another, from one giant leap to the unkown to another.

The card said “Greatest rewards are given to those who believe, and relentlessly pursue their dreams” – thank you, mom!

Oh, the reason I went back to the book? All of the sudden, I couldn’t get this poem in it out of my head. This is how it goes:

The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slave of permamence.

Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

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