“…Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.”
That’s the good thing about poetry, it’s always there when you need a quote. This one’s by Andrew Marvell, from a poem in which he’s urging his ‘coy’ mistress to forget the niceties of courtship and indulge in a little horseplay before, “your quaint honour turn to dust, and into ashes all my lust.”
And when I read this poem I always think, crikey, he’s right, let’s get on with things. It’s an exhortation not to fuss around, to get down to business(!), not to put off what should have been done yesterday, or let opportunities slip away.
But there’s another side of me that says, wait, hang on, enjoy the moment. In the steady linear plod of our year, divided as it is into birthdays, festivals and seasonal disruptions, we forget to savour the special and the everyday.
From something as mundane as the taste of a biscuit to the grandness of the changing colours of the landscape, look around you – isn’t there an event you should enjoy at this present moment, something to take stock of and remember?
And if it’s worth celebrating, why not write it down? There’s a story in every imaginable incident or experience, so let your imagination wander, and take time to preserve even the bitterest of pleasures.
For, as Marvell asks his mistress to consider: “yonder all before us lie, deserts of vast eternity.”