I might have posted this lovely poem by Gabrielle D’Annunzio in September as I began school, but it speaks to me. Perhaps, I am better off to read it at other times than the beginning.
I recalled the poem, when I heard of the election of the Pope, Francis I. I thought it was a fitting name for the person who would be a shepherd. I hope he fulfills his Jesuit tradition of social justice and teaching.
When I heard the name he chose, it reminded of St. Francis of Assisi. Kathy and I used the Prayer of St. Francis as part of our wedding ceremony and hangs on our bedroom wall.
September, let’s go. It’s time to migrate.
Now in the land of Abruzzi my shepherds
leave the folds and go towards the sea:
they go down to the wild Adriatic
that is green like mountain pastures.
They’ve drunk deeply from the Alpine fonts,
so that the taste of their native water
may stay in their exiled hearts for comfort
to deceive their thirst along the way.
They’ve renewed their hazelnut sticks.
And they go along the ancient bridleway,
that is almost like a silent grassy river
in the traces of the ancient ancestors.
Oh voice of the one who first
discerns the shimmering of the sea!
Now along this coast moves the flock.
Without movement is the air.
The sun bleaches the living wool so that
it almost blends into the sand.
Swishing, stamping, sweet sounds.
Ah why am I not with my shepherds?