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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Bright Field

(Wheatfield with Rising Sun by Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter)

“Her father had put up a swing for the younger children in the wash-house. She could hear one of them now, crying, ‘Higher! Higher!’ Except for the baby asleep in the cradle, her mother and she were alone in the room, which, on that dull day, was aglow with firelight. Her mother’s pastry board and rolling-pin still stood on a white cloth on one end of the table, and the stew for dinner, mostly composed of vegetables but very savory-smelling, simmered upon the hob. She had a sudden impulse to tell her mother how much she loved her; but in the early ’teens such feelings cannot be put into words, and all she could do was to praise the potato cake.” ~ Flora Thompson (1877-1947), Over to Candleford


I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the burning bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

~ R. S. Thomas (1913-2000), Welsh poet

1 comment:

GretchenJoanna said...

This poem just about sums up the concept of living in the Now, and finding the Everlasting God here. It's a behavior -- or a gift -- that I am always pursuing. Thomas's images and connections will stick in my mind now and make it easier to unwrap that gift. Thank you!