This isn’t what I planned to blog about today, but I came across this passage of a poem by William Wordsworth today in a book I’m reading about the Chronicles of Narnia and it stayed with me all afternoon. The excerpt is from “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” It is hauntingly beautiful.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house beginning to close
Upon the growing Boy…
What I love about this piece is that we emphasizes we are born into this world with a sense of loss. Children are keenly aware of this, as they are so eager to search and believe in the world beyond their eyes. They are convinced there is more to reality than what the senses reveal. Our fairy tales and “children’s stories” speak to this and capture that piercing longing. And then the prison walls start to go up. The longer we spend in the world, the fainter those echoes become, we start to believe that this world is the reality and our longings were the dream, instead of the other way round. Eventually the world lulls us into complacency and sleep. These words remind me that the challenge of life is to fight sleep, fight the continual attempts to dull the longing, refuse to give in to the belief that this world is the only reality and I exist only for my pleasure. True growing up is about fanning the flame and awakening the desire for our heavenly homeland.
Blessings to you;