THE DAY IS DONE
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
Much of what people experience as sadness, longing and depression has its roots in the spirits of guilt and shame. This ennui tends to come in and go out in a daily rhythm, much like the tides under the influence of the moon, waxing in the evening hours and waning in the morning.
The moon, long recognized as a symbol of the subconscious mind of man, exerts a powerful yet invisible influence on the earth. Likewise, subconscious lines of force drawn within the individual and between people prod and pull at their heart strings, indirectly influencing the conscious mind in subtle yet strong ways.
Every person is born with a purpose, a great and noble purpose which fulfilled in part or in whole brings a profound sense of inner peace. Each and every circumstance is a stepping stone toward that fulfillment, the journey, as they say, being as important as the destination.
Whenever you act in a way that causes you to come up short in relation to that opportunity, your wonderfully designed faculties of mind, body and heart are programmed to issue a warning, often in the form of guilt or shame. When a warning light comes on, you are wise to move quickly in a new direction to get back on track. Never was it written that warnings were cause for dwelling, simmering, sulking, wallowing, whining or complaining.
Not all feelings are personal to you, though, for you are connected to others by virtue of the lines of force, of feeling connection, to many other people on earth. In this sense it behooves you not to take your feelings so personally and more importantly, not to beat yourself up over them.
In saying this I am not advising denial, rather, I am suggesting that you take the high road by being above all else thankful that you still have enough feeling sense to realize when things are going wrong. The warnings that manifest as a troubled heart or a disturbed feeling realm are merciful indications, symptoms as it were, of the need for a change in heart or approach.
I’ll share a little secret with you today, the means by which you can begin to take a new approach in relation to the powerful beast which rises out of the sea of your unconscious mind: take not another step until you bring the spirit of thanksgiving clearly and densely into focus in your heart and mind.
Even if your heart is troubled, there will always be a ray of light to which you can orient when the world around you grows dark and cold.