“Stay gold.” ~The Outsiders

It is finally May. The school year has almost concluded, my oldest daughter will be going into kindergarten next year, and I’m about to watch my eighth grade students graduate. Maybe I’m being sentimental, but I think we all wish that we could hold on to youth and innocence.  Although I am looking forward to summer vacation, I can’t help but think on the most poignant scene from the novel The Outsiders, after reading it with my seventh graders recently.  So take a few seconds, if you can, and think on this excerpt.  It might just strike a chord with you too.  ~Natalie


The dawn was coming then. All the lower valley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in small clouds.  The sky was lighter in the east, and the horizon was a thin golden line.  The clouds changed from gray to pink, and the mist was touched with gold.  There was a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose.  It was beautiful.

     “Golly”–Johnny’s voice beside me made me jump–“that sure was pretty.”

     “Yeah.” I sighed, wishing I had some paint to do a picture with while the sight was still fresh in my mind.

     “The mist was what was pretty,” Johnny said.  “All gold and silver.”

     “Uhmmmm,” I said, trying to blow a smoke ring.

     “Too bad it couldn’t stay like that all the time.”

     “Nothing gold can stay.” I was remembering a poem I’d read once. 


“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.”

Johnny was staring at me.  “Where’d you learn that?  That was what I meant.”

~The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


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