Wednesday Vignettes: Maturity



“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically.

We grow sometimes in one dimension,

and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially.

We are relative. We are mature in one realm,

childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle

and pull us backward, forward,

or fix us in the present.

We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”


Anaïs Nin




“Don’t you understand that we need to be childish

in order to understand?

Only a child sees things with perfect clarity,

because it hasn’t developed all those filters

which prevent us from seeing things

that we don’t expect to see.”


Douglas Adams




“Youth ends when egotism does;

maturity begins when one lives for others.”


Hermann Hesse




Woodland Gnome 2016




“To rush is to miss the experience”
Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

5 responses to “Wednesday Vignettes: Maturity

  1. You have found some poetic gems here forestgarden. I really enjoyed reading them. The quote from Hesse is surprising and I love that it ties in empathy with maturity. I feel it is so true. It is hard for someone to feel for others if struggling to get their basic needs met. But in developing considerations for others we must be whole (and mature) ourselves.
    Is the Nin passage Norwegian?

    • Thank you 😉 It is one of those dilemmas where one must find a path between the two poles of selfishness and selflessness. And this is the great difficulty for young adults in our society who are unable to get themselves settled into comfortably sustainable lives, yet are ready in other ways to welcome their own children into their lives. But I experience it as a gender issue, too; traditionally at least, women have spent their entire lives looking after the needs of others. What tremendous creativity and productivity is there when a woman can use her energy to follow her own passions and curiosities. We must find the balance between our maturity and our original youthful open wonder at the world. It is an interesting journey, and not always a tranquil or safe one, either…. I found the Nin passage in English and can’t speak to its original context. Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments. Cheers! WG

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, WG. I agree with you about the struggles of today’s youth, more of whom than in past years, have been raised to consider others less than themselves. I don’t believe this was always a conscious act by their parents, many times children are so wanted and placed on a pedestal which gives them a false impression of the most altruistic way of navigating our world. I struggled a bit with feelings of not quite being ready for children, they were dearly wanted but did I have the skills to bring them up? Was I mature and selfless enough? These doubts were dispelled quickly as I found the parenting process engulfs a Mum and teaches us many things along the way. In some ways, it would have taken me longer to reach the same spiritual and mental point without children, I think.
        The Nin name sounds Norsk, so I will have to investigate that a bit further, I think.

        • Yes, I agree with you totally about how a child teaches the parent, and we change so much from the relationship with our children. But now I’m learning this in reverse as I care for aging parents, too. It is our connections with others which can ripen us, whatever form those relationships may be. But we have to be open to it…. and yes, to understand that others are not ‘less than ourselves.’ I believe that children develop this attitude partly from interaction from media and the world beyond the family. Only a few generations ago, children felt needed for what they could do… their contribution to the family’s well being. This isn’t the case so much anymore. Children are more like exotic pets than working members of a family unit. At least that is often the case in the US. Parents’ lives revolve around doing for their children, with precious little expected/demanded in return.

          • You are a poet! “It is our connections with others which can ripen us” – fantastic way to put it. And that is so true. I have learnt so much from those who aren’t necessarily from friends, almost as much as from my friends. (hence the Dalai Lama quote I shared this week), And the media, and society in general must share the blame/causative factors, not just parenting styles. In Australia, we are so over regulated, we shield our children from discovering by experience and consequence. Exotic pets also well describes attitudes of some, under the guise of love of family. It is a balancing act of encouraging work by children – teaching them they are part of a team and to accept responsibilities, and allowing them to experience the right to have a childhood! I used to tell me kids that school holidays were a time of role reversal, ( in addition to allocated chores), a time when they could reciprocate and help out the family unit in their spare time!
            Thanks for a great conversation.

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