I was recuperating in Wales from a knee operation recently and had the good fortune to be able to take this picture of the countryside near Abergavenny, just as the sun was breaking through the clouds and shining down onto a small corner of the landscape. It reminded me of one of my favourite poems, by R.S. Thomas, one that I often reflect upon. I don’t have time right now to expand upon why this poem matters to me but I’ll come back to it another time when I get an opportunity. For now, here is that wonderful verse.
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.
By R.S. Thomas (1913-2000)