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a little on leisure

September 20, 2011

So, this month I am chasing maybes (a.k.a. extending myself in directions I’ve previously ignored or dismissed) in the category of Sports and Leisure.  I’ve spent some time mulling over football, talking about the highs and lows of fandom, and reading up on the game.  I’ve been almost exclusively considering the “sports” side of this category and ignoring the “leisure” aspect.

We moved this weekend (for the last time… EVER) and I feel simultaneously thrilled and depleted by it.  I am thrilled that we now own a home that fits our family, and I am depleted of energy, of spark, of words…  I am empty.  I’ve been here before, and I know it is a temporary condition.  I know it is best remedied by rest.

As I sat at my desk in our new home, surrounded by half-unpacked boxes and unswept tile floors, peaks of laundry swelling in the room next door, I Googled the word “leisure.”  This poem, Leisure by Welsh writer W.H. Davies (evidently one of the most popular poets of his time) popped up on my computer screen:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies (July 3, 1871 – September 26, 1940)

image by tracitodd via flickr

Reading it made me laugh. 
Reading it made me want to personally thank W.H. Davies for giving me permission to stop and stare like a sheep.  Don’t we all need permission to rest sometimes, even if it comes from a long-dead Welsh poet and part-time vagabond?
Here’s to standing beneath a bough or two today, ignoring the unfinished business, and staring like a sheep.  Thanks, as always, for showing up. 
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lucy Falk permalink
    September 20, 2011 8:19 am

    love it! Hope everything went well and post some pics on FB for us 🙂

    • September 22, 2011 9:08 pm

      Hey Lucy! I promise I will share some pics once things are more, ahem, in order. Hope you guys are doing great — miss you!

  2. September 20, 2011 2:00 pm

    Congratulations on the big move!

    Love the poem – thanks for sharing! Just this morning, I forced myself to take a break and enjoy the not-so-oft seen sunshine for 5 minutes. Getting off the treadmill of life and schedules and such isn’t so easy sometimes. But, those 5 minutes were glorious. Hope you continue to find little pockets of sheep time.

    • September 22, 2011 9:07 pm

      Thank you, Jade. We are doing well, though still digging our way out of boxes. I wish you more sheep time, too! 🙂

  3. deb cayer permalink
    September 22, 2011 7:15 am

    Anne, did you know this is set to a tune in the hymnal? It’s a part of the old “Haunting House” curriculum for kindergarten kids (haunting as in “evocative” rather than creepy). I hope all’s well with you and yours in your new home.

    • September 22, 2011 9:06 pm

      Deb, I didn’t know this! How wonderful… thanks for sharing this with me. I hope you are enjoying the fall in NC — we are all well, but really miss ERUUF and our friends. Take care.

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