Just the other day, a dear friend was sharing with me his pain over separation from his teenaged son, "perhaps never to see each other again."
My friend is separated from his son's mother and I was one among many friends who had unsuccessfully tried to prevent the separation from happening.
The lady is now remarried and along with her son she is going far away to build a new life.
"You know how I love my son, Venu," my friend said, over phone from a bar around 10 in the morning. "You can't blame me for feeling down."
I didn't blame him. The next morning, after he had drunk and slept over his grief, I called him and recited to him the following lines by Kahlil Gibran in his book 'The Prophet':
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
"Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.