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Do you have time to stand and stare?

"What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.”

For some reason these opening lines from "Leisure," by the Welsh poet W.H. Davies, came to mind this morning as I came into my little home office wondering what to write about in my blog.

blogsquirrelI like to follow the little nudges and impulses that come to me in life as best I can, so I read up about Davies on the Internet. Born in Wales, he lived as a tramp and a vagabond in England and the US, and lost a leg while trying to jump on a train in the US. But he continued to write poetry all his life. After saving enough cash from his panhandling, he eventually printed a small book of poems, which came to the attention of George Bernard Shaw -- whereupon Davies suddenly became well-known.

We all have a gift to give in this world. The gift that Davies gave was to remind us of the value of stillness. The simple need to slow down and not allow busyness or ambition or worry to blind us to the potential of beauty and magic that is present in each moment if we have eyes to see it and hearts to perceive it.

As I think about Davies’ story, I marvel at the extraordinary richness and diversity of life, as it finds form and shape and expression through each one of us. We all have a unique song to sing, a different offering to bring in our lives. The gift that Davis gave was unique to him. His lifestyle, I'm quite sure, did not find a lot of favor. I'm sure that many people thought, as they hurried past, "Just look at that lazy, useless bum." Certainly, his approach would not appeal to most of us -- particularly in these pressure-driven days, and the emphasis on outer achievement and success at almost any cost.

Yet despite the many hardships he must have faced, Davies found a way to let his own particular music be heard while he yet lived.

I do believe that no matter what our mission or gift may be in this life, it will be enhanced as we dare to step back a little in the midst of our busy days, and give ourselves a chance to become more aware of what is actually present with us -- perhaps not even seen before.

The underlying rhythm and cohesion of life. Something rather admirable in a person we had written off. The magic of a busy street. Above all, the unconquerable majesty of our own eternal being, just waiting to flood our mind and heart and body with peace and joy.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Corinne Rodrigues August 29, 2009 at 5:05 am

Lovely! I love your blog….hope to come by more often.


Christopher Foster August 29, 2009 at 9:20 am

Thank you so much Corinne. I much appreciate your expression of support, and hope you will come by again. All the very best to you in your own endeavors. Chris


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