Saturday, April 27, 2013

A corner that is forever

Being a BYU English major gave me many things, and an appreciation for poetry is among those gifts. In one of the many, many, many literature classes I attended was a section on war poetry. That week I discovered a poem which gives words to feelings previously unutterable by me.

The Soldier- Rupert Brooke
IF I should die, think only this of me;
  That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
  In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
  Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
  Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
  A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
  And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Why, you may ask, do I love this poem? Because somewhere in everyplace I have been, there is a part that, though I am not still there, is forever mine. My walking route in Vienna. My keke lady in Vava'u. My train station bench in Berlin. My carrell in the Harold B. Lee Library. And even deeper, there is in my heart some corner that is forever all the places I have been and all the people and things I have loved. There is a corner of my heart that is forever hanging out with my grandparents. There is a corner of my heart that is forever country. There is a corner of my heart that is forever Provo and Idaho and family and roommates and friends and books and experiences and my mom's lap. And yes, there is now some corner of my heart that is forever Maui.

I will be leaving my precious valley isle soon. I will miss it so much. I will miss the water and the red dirt and my town and the people and my friends and the culture and church and my precious primary children. I will miss my job and my coworkers and the food and the language and the roads and the quirks and the shape and the spirit of this little rock itself. But there is a part of me, I think, that will always be Maui. The things I've learned and the experiences I've had and the people I've met--my soul has absorbed them so thoroughly I can barely remember myself without all of it. And I know that there will be in my life much, much more to still absorb. I will be home for three months visiting family and friends and soaking up a quintessential American summer. Then, at the end of August, I will be leaving for New Zealand. I do not know what is to come there; I don't even really know what to expect. I don't know if I will stay and succeed in my intended and chosen program, but I will give it my best shot. And I am guessing that, a few years down the road, whenever it comes time to move on from there, I will look back and then be able to say that there is now a corner of my heart that is forever New Zealand. I'm sure glad we have these lives to live. Life is a great reason to rejoice!