Leisure – 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.”

This reminds me of a favourite tree near my grandmother's house
This reminds me of a favourite tree near my grandmother’s house

This is a favourite poem of mine, and also of my grandmother. I remembered it yesterday, and it captures perfectly the essence of enjoyment I’m seeking. I just had a skype chat with Granny – I told her about this project and she was interested. She made a comment that people these days “don’t to have time to savour their thoughts” – that when she was younger people had less money but more time, and were much more adept at creating and imagining ways to enjoy themselves. I’m hoping to get some more ideas from her! At around 93 now, she manages to get out most days for a walk along the country lane, and says hello to “Catherine’s tree” – we have done this walk together, and looked at the sunlight reflecting off a slow flowing river, and shared in enjoyment of nature and life. I hold to and savour these moments.

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