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Sail On, Sail On, Sail On…

Hopefully, as the school year is getting to a start, changes are being made in your schedules and life is abuzz, you are doing well.  For families on the autism spectrum, change is not usually met without difficulty.  Many children do not do well with change and that is even more true for us.  Having said that, we press on because we have hope, belief and faith that these transitions can open up doors for our children and our families.

We have 5 children and homeschool our oldest, whom is 11 years old.  Today we cracked open our English book and ventured on a new journey.  The opening poem, about perseverance, I believe rings true for our families, also.  And so with that, I leave you with this poem.  I KNOW the light at the end is brighter, bigger and more than we could ever imagine.


by Joaquin Miller


BEHIND him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.

The good mate said: “Now must we pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”

“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak.”
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.

“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,
‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’”

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
“Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.

These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dread seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say”—
He said: “Sail on! sail on! and on!”

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
“This mad sea shows his teeth to-night.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!

Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck—
A light! A light! A light! A light!

It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”


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