The other day at the mall, I saw a little, bent, elderly woman walking toward the Hallmark store. She had a look of determination, glancing neither to the right nor the left, and I had a sense that every step was effort. She stood out in that crowd of glitter and noise and hurry and energy.
I felt an unexpected surge of sympathy and admiration. She was, somehow, an incongruity there — a picture of frailty and strength, of mutability and survival. In the midst of that altar to the fleeting present, she seemed very real. She pointed to the idea of things that last. I thought of her when I read this poem at Gladsome Lights.
THE BRIGHT FIELD
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
- BTT: Contemplation
- Paper Chain