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Monday, May 24, 2010

Grammy’s Poem

I was thinking about my Grammy the other day and the poems I memorized for her one summer. The one I remember best is Ralph Cushman’s “I Met God in the Morning”:

I met God in the morning
When my day was at its best,
And His Presence came like sunrise
Like a glory in my breast.

All day long the Presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O’er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I, too, had loosed the moorings
With the Presence left behind.

So I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way;
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day.

It was when I was sixteen that I spent part of the summer with my grandparents, and they in turn took me to help them house-sit for a niece of theirs. The niece and her husband had gone on vacation and needed people in their house. I had just joined the Mormon church a few months before and my grandmother was worried about my eternal soul. She gave me lots of little pep talks to ensure that I would not forget that Jesus Christ should be the one I worshipped and not Joseph Smith as the rest of the Mormons did. I assured Grammy that the name of the church should indicate that I was safe on that score: it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not the Church of Joseph Smith. She said that was all very well, but she knew people of my church who knew very little about Jesus Christ, in her opinion. She asked me to memorize that poem, which I was very happy to learn, as a safeguard.

I love that poem. I find that obeying the poem’s advice starts the day out right. I find that I can be my most natural, “real” self when I do. I can be perfectly honest, my mind can open more fully and clearly, and I get impressions that improve my days if I am paying close enough attention.

I had a close relationship with my Grammy, and she gave me many, many gifts, but that poem is one of the most valuable things she left me.

For further stories about my grandmother and her adventures, see the lists on my Munro and Read genealogy pages.

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