Gift #483: All Saints Day

I’ve been waiting to share this post with you for quite a while.  I ran across this poem back in September when I was preparing for the Edith Holden post of that month.  It is by one imageof my favorite authors and I instantly loved it (even before I knew who wrote it).  I decided that Nov 1st was a perfect time to share it because autumn is in full swing and because it’s All Saints Day.  This poem manages to tie the events together by mirroring the seasons and man’s life.  As the earth yields the last of its harvests and surrenders to the impending winter with glorious abandon, I think it’s natural that our thoughts turn inward and we remember our mortality as well.  All Saints Day provides a time to commemorate the lives of those who have passed through the doors of this world and have entered immortality.  It connects us to the people of the past and reminds us that our time on earth is limited.  Far from being morbid, I think a proper perspective of our mortality teaches us to purpose our days and treat others with compassion.  It also teaches me to live in hope, awaiting the expectation of a world reborn with God’s grace.

Autumn clouds are flying, flying
O’er the waste of blue;
Summer flowers are dying, dying
Late so lovely new
Labouring wains are slowing rolling
Home with laden grain;
Holy bells are slowly tolling
Over buried men.
 
Goldener lights set noon asleeping
Like an afternoon;
Colder airs come stealing, creeping
After sun and moon;
And the leaves, all tired of blowing
 Cloudlike o’e r the sun;
Change to sunset colours, knowing
That their day is done.
 
Autumn’s sun is sinking, pinking
Into Winter’s night;
And our hearts are thinking, thinking
Of the cold and flight.
Our life’s sun is slowly going
Down the hill of might.
Will our clouds shine golden glowing
On the slope of night?
 
But the vanished corn is lying
In rich golden glooms.
In the churchyard, all the sighing
Is above the tombs.
Spring will come, slow-lingering
Opening buds of faith;
Man goes forth to meet his spring
Through the door of death
–          George MacDonald

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Blessings to you,

Sarah

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