Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boreham on Becoming Reconciled With Ones Lot

Life has a wonderful way of coaxing us into a frame of mind in which we not only become reconciled to our lot: we actually fall in love with it. No memory of my early days on this side of the world is more vivid than the recollection of a horrid terror, a cold paralyzing apprehension, that often made me start in the night. I, a young Englishman, loving every stick and stone in England, had come out to New Zealand. Suppose I were to die here! My bones to be buried in New Zealand soil! It was an appalling thought, and I broke into a clammy perspiration whenever it took possession of my mind!

Later on, another nightmare, just as dreadful, came to keep it company, and I was haunted by the two of them. I married: little children gladdened our home: and we were as happy as two people could be. But suppose, I would say to myself, suppose these children grow up to regard themselves as New Zealanders, totally destitute of the emotions that bring a tug at their parents' hearts and a tear to their parents' eyes at every mention of the dear Homeland! How those ugly thoughts tyrannized me, shadowing even the sunniest of our early days under the Southern Cross!

When, later on, we found ourselves once more in England, we made two startling discoveries: we discovered that England was even more lovely and more lovable than, in our most sentimental moments, we had pictured her. But we discovered, simultaneously, that our hearts insisted on turning wistfully back to the lands in which so many of our years had been spent. The visits home were, from first to last, a dream of unalloyed delight; we were overwhelmed and touched to tears by the most astonishing kindnesses and hospitalities, yet, in the midst of it all, we found that we had become citizens of the distant south. The wattle and the gum thrust their roots very deeply into one's heart in the course of the years. It is a way that life has, and a very wonderful way, of putting us on the happiest of terms with the place in which we are destined to live and with the work that we have been appointed to do.

F W Boreham, My Pilgrimage (London: The Epworth Press, 1940), 137-138.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: “The gum thrust their roots very deeply into one's heart in the course of the years.”