To notice (to live)

Take time to notice - to turn at Beauty's glance,And watch her feet, how they can dance.Like me, you may be starting out on a week full of a range of commitments. Or indeed you may be starting out on a week that looks a little blank, lacking in specific commitments.

It is interesting that whether we would describe the week ahead as busy or way too quiet, the temptation is still the same. It is the temptation to miss the moment and fail to actually be – for the hours and days to pass us by in a blur while failing to actually live.

It takes effort to notice, to be aware – of ourselves, of others, of all that is around us, and perhaps even of God – but when we do, we start to be, to exist, to live.

I love this poem by Henry William Davies. I first came across it in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral way back when. It reminds me – whatever the schedule busy or light – to pause and notice. Nature can really help us to pause and notice but we can pause and notice throughout our days in our interactions with others, in the food and drink we have, in our thoughts and emotions, in our hopes, in our very breath. Take time to ‘stare’ – to look – and be enriched.

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 is Mindful Monday on 16 April 2018 @ essencecheltenham.org

If you live in Cheltenham or nearby, join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness tonight at the Oasis, 7.30-9 pm.

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