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A lovely poem by Peggy Freydberg

Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

I stumbled upon this poem and wanted to share. It was composed by a woman I had never heard of until now: Peggy Freydberg. Apparently she passed away last year at the age of 107. She was influenced by Alan Watts, who inspired her to live more in the present moment. To read more about her, please visit the link.


Every morning,
even being very old,
(or perhaps because of it),
I like to make my bed.
In fact, the starting of each day
is the biggest thing I ever do.
I smooth away the dreams disclosed by tangled sheets,
I smack the dented pillow’s revelations to oblivion,
I finish with the pattern of the spread exactly centered.
The night is won.
And now the day can open.

All this I like to do,
mastering the making of my bed
with hands that trust beginnings.
All this I need to do,
directed by the silent message
of the luxury of my breathing.

And every night,
I like to fold the covers back,
and get in bed,
and live the dark, wise poetry of the night’s dreaming,
dreading the extent of its improbabilities,
but surrendering to the truth it knows and I do not;
even though its technicolor cruelties,
or the music of its myths,
feels like someone else’s experience,
not mine.

I know that I could no more cease
to want to make my bed each morning,
and fold the covers back at night,
than I could cease
to want to put one foot before the other.

Being very old and so because of it,
all this I am compelled to do,
day after day,
night after night,
directed by the silent message
of the constancy of my breathing,
that bears the news I am alive.



  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    My dear mother, aged 84.

    This, this is she....

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    That's wonderful, @federica. :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited April 2016

    I sent her the poem in an email, and she was absolutely delighted.

    Her comment...

    Well... how lovely!!! thank you! "bearing the news that I am alive"...
    sempre [always] tita

    So thank you from both of us for that gift.

    Do you know this one?

  • I cared for an elderly mother who when she could no longer make her bed asked me to do it. She seemed delighted when I made her bed with hospital corners. Such a simple act received with great pleasure.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited April 2016

    Aaaah, 'Hospital corners'....! Sadly, a thing of the past now, with ready-made disposable one-size-fits-all clinical sheets.....
    I do totally get her delight, though....

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    Aw, I'm very glad to hear that @federica! No I haven't read "When I Am Old" before, but just did and it put a smile on my face.

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