(For Beverly)

Tiptoe quietly on this threshold;
pause for a moment to survey
all the new beginnings around you,
for you are a young woman today.

Breathe deeply the air that surrounds you;
reach upwards to touch a star.
Remember the past with its pleasures and pain --
the things which have made you what you are.

Hold fast to all the good happenings;
take stock of the difficult trials and tears,
for they build strength, not weakness --
the endurances of all your past years.

This new world is sprinkled with adventure,
it's the beginning of a brand-new face.
Hold in your hands the sands of life,
then step boldly forward to find your place.

Let the fears and anxieties and evil things
sieve through your fingers and only hold
onto that which is good and righteous,
and life will reward you a thousandfold.

Think of yourself and often of others;
understand we all have our burdens to bear,
that sometimes may affect you adversely,
but lend a hand and try to share
their burdens, for this is life.

Shrug off the temptations that may harm you;
wear a smile instead of a tear.
Take lightly the things that alarm you,
and you're sure to experience a very good year.

So pause for a while on this new threshold;
look upward and glimpse God's face.
Know that He is there to guide you
and is willing to show you your place.

Remember there are many who love you;
let that sustain you through difficult times.
Go forward with faith, hope, and love,
and happiness I know you will find.

Now, sometimes I look back and remember
a sweet little girl I used to hold,
but today I know, like the sands of time,
those years have sieved through my fingers --
Happy Birthday, my daughter who is 18 years old!

Copyright 1971 Ruth Gillis


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