Soothing Thoughts

Splendour in the Grass by William Wordsworth

What though the radiance
which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

No matter where you are in life there are comfort and joy to be found. The nature of the comfort changes as the years roll along, but rest assured, there is no magic age at which the thrill of living is gone.

The key is not to dwell on that which passes away, be it a valued capacity such as strength or stamina, but instead to focus on the full use of what is presently available to you. Radiance is absolute, not relative, so there is no point in comparing you now to your former self or to the capabilities of another.

4 thoughts on “Soothing Thoughts

  1. Zach

    It is really important to be able to be three-dimensional, to develop as a whole person. We will all diminish in some ways as we get older, but in other ways we should be much more capable.
    Knowing this, we can be comforted that we still have things to be excited about, and there is much that is within our control so that we can continue raising the bar, even if what we are raising the bar on must shift over time.

  2. Lady Leo

    The old saying, “youth is wasted on the young” becomes more understandable with age. While the usual good health, strength and vitality of youth shouldn’t be taken for granted, but used as the precious commodities they are, radiance is actually the true power behind lasting accomplishment. There’s also a vantage point of perspective that comes with many years of experiences; it may appear mellow but I’ve found it’s often just economical in its approach. I’ve always loved that poem, so beautiful, thanks for posting it!

  3. Chuck Reddick

    This might be called “aging gracefully” Gregg. And I know from my own experience that when I resist the aging process, or fight it from not happening that I am likely shutting off other benefits that come from aging.

    Now that I have relaxed into aging, I am finding it to be an absolutely joyous trip.

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