Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What is this life if full of care?

"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will
sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
---Nathaniel Hawthorne

This quotation reminds me of a wonderful poem which I learned in school when I was very little.My schoolteacher made us memorize it and to this day I can easily recall it in my mind.

Leisure
by William Henry Davies


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


The message to me is that Life should be lived moment by moment.

I wonder how many of us are really mentally awake, keep our eyes open and are really aware of what goes on around us.

I mean in this fast paced world in which we live in, how many of us ever stop to think and take a look around us at all the beautiful things that God has given us that we simply take for granted.

What if they were suddenly all gone one day, maybe tomorrow?

The reality of this is only too close sometimes, isn't it?

W.H. Davies is best known today for his popular poem ‘Leisure’. But this elegant homage to the quiet life stands in stark contrast to the picaresque story of its author.

He was usually jobless, penniless and homeless for the majority of the first half of his life.

Davies roamed the streets from the Welsh docklands to Canada — losing his leg freeriding a train in Ottawa along the way. At forty he wrote his life story, which made him famous.

He was befriended by Shaw, Conrad and other influential literary figures, and the former hobo suddenly found himself at the centre of literary life. Eventually retiring to the Cotswolds with his wife (an ex-prostitute half his age), Davies died in 1940 leaving his estate to a man he had never met.

But the question remains for all of us:What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?

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