You’ll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane.
It is true the longest drought will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn’t reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last to-night.
Robert Frost – West-Running Brook, 1928
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight…
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Have you ever used that phrase?
It’s a thought that comes easy.
But time passes quickly and suddenly it’s to late.
Love while you’ve got
love to give
Live while you’ve got
life to live
The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.
Time is a wealth of change,
but the clock in its parody makes it mere change and no wealth.
Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time
like dew on the tip of a leaf.
A woman passed me in the park. Her daughter walked … no, she jumped and danced behind her mother with a red toboggan.
I nearly woke you up last night, when it started to snow, said the mother. She laughed and turned her head towards the child, who smiled happily.
A mother who loves to play, isn’t the worst thing you could wish for as a child 🙂
I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!
– Snowflakes by Emily Dickinson
Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind’s breath,
And stars to set; but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!
Belief in our mortality, the sense that we are eventually going to crack up and be extinguished like the flame of a candle, I say, is a gloriously fine thing. It makes us sober; it makes us a little sad; and many of us it makes poetic. But above all, it makes it possible for us to make up our mind and arrange to live sensibly, truthfully and always with a sense of our own limitations. It gives us peace also, because true peace of mind comes from accepting the worst.
Deprived of immortality, the proposition of living becomes a simple proposition. It is this: that we human beings have a limited span of life to live on this earth, rarely more than seventy years, and that therefore we have to arrange our lives so that we may live as happily as we can under a given set of circumstances. … It made us therefore, cling to life─the life of the instinct and the life of senses─on the belief that, as we are all animals, we can be truly happy only when all our normal instincts are satisfied normally. This applies to the enjoyment of life in all its aspects.
A sad poetic touch is added to this intense love of life by the realization that this life we have is essentially mortal. For if this earthly existence is all we have, we must try the harder to enjoy it while it lasts. A vague hope of immortality detracts from our wholehearted enjoyment of this earthly existence.
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living.