Stay Gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay ~ Robert Frost ~ 1923
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
The Outsiders is a 1983 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.The movie connected with me in many ways when I saw it as a teenager, and even now, the messages about friendship, loyalty, and holding the beauty of life close to your heart, still ring true for me. Johnny’s last words to Ponyboy, “Stay Gold”, still mean so much to me.

“I asked the nurse to give you this book, so you could finish it. It was worth saving those kids because their lives are worth more than mine. They have more to live for. I’ve been thinking about it, and that poem, that guy that wrote it. He meant you’re gold when you’re a kid, like green. When you’re a kid everything’s new. Dawn. Like the way you dig sunsets, that’s gold. Keep it that way. It’s a good way to be. There’s still lots of good in the world.”

There is a part in each of us that we are born with, the part that connects us to joy, light, hope and beauty, and we never really lose it. It is the whole and unbroken part that is at the core of each of us. It’s the part, which for most of us is more accessible when we’re young, when we have a sense of wonder about life, that sometimes seems harder and harder to tap into as we get older. But it is there, always, at the core of each of us. We feel it when we see a brilliant sunset, or are captivated by a child laughing in delight while chasing soap bubbles. We feel that little tug, that little sense of wonder and appreciation.

Robert Matthiessan says it best: “Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions, and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armour of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers.”

Don’t lose your sense of wonder. Stay gold.


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