Always look for light…from the poet R.S. Thomas as the year ends…

This year 2014 has in many ways been grim. It is important as it draws to a close to avoid offering fatuous cliches regarding how much better the New Year of 2015 will be. Maybe – and maybe not. But, as always, the best poets can find something to say which is apposite and pertinent. As I have grown older and survived a fair number of  Life’s battles, I have learned three major lessons, not in any way unique to me, but jewels of our common wisdom:

Be grateful for what you have

Live as much as is feasible, in the day you are in today – Carpe Diem!

Find light wherever you can, no matter how fleeting it may seem in very dark times

Let us not rush through 2015, then,  so much that we forget to pause, to notice, should a fleeting glimpse of the brightness of Eternity come our way….

A fleeting light.....
A fleeting light…..

The Bright Field

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.


(From Laboratories of the Spirit, published by MacMillan. © Kunjana Thomas)

(I published this poem in a different post at the start of 2014. It seems even more appropriate to share it again at this particular year’s end…)


300 words copyright Anne Whitaker/R.S. Thomas 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page




6 thoughts on “Always look for light…from the poet R.S. Thomas as the year ends…

  1. I really love this one Anne. That and your reflections are so true, yet life and living gives us constant challenges to recognise what is really important in life… As always It’s simple yet not, I’m sure there’s a profound philosophical saying that puts it much better but this gives the essence xXx

    1. Thanks, Carole, glad you appreciated the post and the poem. Re profound philosophical sayings…well, yes, but if something can be said with elegant simplicity, why go any further? xx

  2. Here’s another lesson I’ve learned in life: simplicity counts. Those profound philosophical sayings? Those dense academic tomes? The carefully constructed arguments filled with subordinate clauses and jargon? Words as bricks, to block out the light. Better a few clear words, to let it in.

    Happy New Year!

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