Sweet the Mother-Walk, But Perilous!

If there is anyone in the world whom we should not have to deceive, who is most likely to know us for what we are and love us anyway, who will never prefer complexity of thought and expression to simplicity and directness of feeling, who is so interested in us that we do not have to make our letters "interesting" and consequently, perhaps, false - that person is our mother.

That is a quote from Charles Van Doren about his book, Letters to Mother.  I love this book which was picked up by one of my sons at a library book sale years ago.  It is an anthology of letters from the famous and infamous. What they say to their mothers is most revealing.  Letters from John Ruskin, John Wesley, Amelia Earhart, Joyce Kilmer, Richard Wagner, Florence Nightingale, and George Sand are included, along with dozens more.

I will be celebrating Mother's Day at my first son's college graduation at Hillsdale.  How can this be possible?  I hope to have a snapshot or two to share later. We are looking forward to his last orchestra performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring.
This baby is graduating from college this weekend.  Sigh. (Hesperia, CA)

Here is a poem that is attributed to Charlotte Mason on motherhood!  I found it in a Parents' Review (Vol. 1, No. 1, Feb. 1890, p. 68)  from the Charlotte Mason Digital Archives. I've read it many times and it is growing on me. It's not your typical Mother's Day fare, but she wasn't typical, was she?  Never a mother herself and orphaned at 16, Ms. Mason served as a surrogate mother to thousands of young women through her training college at Ambleside,  thousands of children through her PNEU schools, and thousands of mothers who took her Mother's Educational Course.


As they are wariest guides who most have met
Mischance themselves, thy mother's slips may yet
Show thy feet, daughter, places to eschew.
Ah, sweet the mother-walk, but perilous!
And flowers do grace the progress hazardous,
Tho' heedless pilgrims chance on bitter rue!

But thou, my daughter, meekly glad, hast tae'n
A man fro' the Lord:  thy joy hath wholesome pain
Of diffidence: -
                    "Thou, Wisest, make me wise,
For the child's sake, that in my bosom lies!"

Still hold thy soul 'fore heaven, as April earth,
Waiting the fall of counsel:  not in vain-
Who hath so graced thee to a blessed birth
Will not His wisdom's watering refrain.

Happy Mother's Day to my mother, Betty, my mother-in-law, Marilyn and to all my readers.

From joy to joy,


  1. Nancy, what a beautiful present your post is. I love your picture of you and your first baby, and I am looking forward to those couple of promised snapshots from graduation.

    After the last issue of Imprimis, and reading The Founders Key, I was thinking how endebted I am to Hillsdale College. Those Imprimis issues, throughout the years, have taught me more about America, economy, politics, and different topics of interest than any TV or radio, or any textbook you can name.

    Congratulations to your son, and enjoy the recital, graduation, and life!


  2. Congratulations on your oldest graduating! I have my daughter-in-law with her Master of Ed. on Saturday. Love Appalachian Spring. Now they will cross them come July!

  3. Love the photo of you 2- rockin' hair!
    That poem is going to take me a while to digest.
    Happy Mothers day to you too!

  4. What a lovely post to read heading into Mother's Day!