Nothing Gold Can Stay

I recently read A Collection of Poems by Robert Frost. It's a beautiful book and one I'd been salivating over for a while, ever since I saw it in Costco several months ago. It is filled with poems that speak to my heart, my imagination, my core.

I was thumbing through one day while reading - yeah, I was looking ahead - and came across Nothing Gold Can Stay, and the first thought that popped in my head was "Stay gold, Ponyboy." I stopped in my tracks as a shiver went up my spine and a smile slid across my face. I remembered in that moment the first time I read The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. The first time I read Nothing Gold Can Stay in the book, The Outsiders, the first time I heard the poem aloud in the movie, the first time I read the letter at the end of the book, the first time I heard the letter at the end of the movie...

Robert Frost and The Outsiders are forever linked in my memory because of this poem. S. E. Hinton used Nothing Gold Can Stay to link the past to the present and the future while also reminding the reader that life changes, that nothing stays the same, that there are things to cherish even though they're fleeting. Sometimes because they are fleeting.

As I think about the world in which we currently live, I find myself drawn to Nothing Gold Can Stay in a different way than when I read it in The Outsiders as a teenager. 
 I look at a world trying desperately to hold onto what's gold as it struggles to agree on what is gold even as it slips away.  Perhaps we need to look beyond the gold we cannot agree on to see the chance to build something better than the gold we cherish, perhaps creating a new gold.

Each spring brings us the gold of newness that grows and matures and dies returning to the earth to decay and renew. Spring gives way to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, and winter to spring creating the cycle. Embracing this idea that life is constantly in flux brings me an odd sense of comfort. 


The world around me doesn't have to be what it was yesterday. I can learn from history and make different decisions. We all can. I can embrace my fellow Earthlings in a way that uplifts, even if I've made mistakes in the past. We call can. I can change what no longer works in my life. We all can. I can appreciate the paths I've traveled - there have been many - and still change directions when a path no longer works for me. We all can. I can see the sunrise and the sunset and the sun in the middle of the afternoon and be filled with appreciation even when everything around me is changing. We all can. I have this power within me. We all do.

We have a choice even when we choose not to make a choice. We can see the gold reinventing itself in each other and the world around us or we can only see the dying blooms.

We can hold on to the gold even if we can't stay gold, if we so choose. Or as Johnny put it in his letter to Ponyboy. "...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. It's just when you get used to everything, it's day..."




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