For Christmas Eve, a poem that resonates all year.
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.
Two things always strike me when I embark on a fun project like this shoes series. The first is how easy it is, once I make that initial commitment and follow through with action, to incorporate a little piece of fun into my daily life. And how much I enjoy it when I do.
The second thing is how easy it is to not do it! I’m too busy; it’s too trivial; I can’t waste time on things like this when I have so many other, more important things to do; it’s pointless; no one reads it anyway … These and a litany of other reasons and excuses spring to mind all too easily. Some of these may be true, or I may perceive them to be. And it’s easy to act on the belief that they’re true, because then I don’t have to do anything differently.
Starting to do something can be hard, but once that first step is taken, things can surprise us by gathering momentum and flowing more smoothly than we anticipated. That’s not to say there won’t be hiccups and challenges and setbacks – of course there will. But the reason I’m sharing this poem today is that for me it’s often a reminder of how much I value taking the time to, yes, appreciate nature as in Davies’ poem, and also, to do the things I really want to do.
And back to shoes – as well as being Christmas Eve, today is my beloved sister’s 50th birthday. To celebrate her half century (particularly apt as her husband is a retired professional cricketer), I’ll be putting on a sequin top later and, naturally, some sparkly shoes to go with it. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!