Monday, February 1, 2010
Comfort In An Old Poem
I love old books and my shelves are full of old treasures that house lovely words and thoughts. One of my favorite writers and poets is Edgar A. Guest, he wrote a little volume called A Heap o' Livin', which was first published in 1916, and renewed in 1944.
Hard to believe that we could read words written in a different chapter of history and have them soothe our souls in a new day such as this.
I was feeling like I was carrying around the weight of the world on my shoulders the other day. So, I did what any Long Island girl would do...I went to the beach.
I brought Edgar Guest's words with me to remind me that my chapter is not much different than many people who have come before me and many people who will come long after I am gone.
I let the sound of the waves hitting the shore remove my worries and the sound of the seagulls cries still my soul. I read Edgar's words in this poem called Take Home A Smile, and let the verses holding words of comfort replace my scattered ones.
The words in Edgar Guest's poem comforted me just the way my Grandmother's words would often do over a cup of tea. Words can make me feel so safe when the world is spinning out of control.
Take Home A Smile
"Take home a smile; forget the petty cares,
The dull, grim grind of all the day's affairs;
The day is done, come be by yourself awhile:
Tonight, to those who wait, take home a smile.
Take home a smile; don't scatter grief and gloom
Where laughter and light hearts should always bloom;
While though you've traveled many a dusty mile,
Footsore and weary, still take home a smile.
Take home a smile - it is not much to do,
But much it means to them who wait for you;
You can be brave for such a little while;
The day of doubt is done, take home a smile.
Courage isn't a brilliant dash,
A daring deed in a moment's flash;
It isn't an instantaneous thing
Born of despair with a sudden spring.
It isn't a creature of flickered hope
Or the final tug at a slipping rope;
But it's something deep in the soul
That is working always to serve some plan.
Courage isn't the last resort
In the work of life or the game of sport;
It isn't a thing that a man can call
At some future time when he's apt to fall;
If he hasn't it now, he will have it not,
When the strain is great and the pace is hot.
For who would strive for a distant goal
Must always have courage within his soul.
Courage isn't a dazzling light
That flashes and passes away from sight;
It's a slow, unwavering, ingrained trait
With the patience to work and the strength to wait,
It's part of a man when his skies are blue,
It's part of him when he has work to do.
The brave man never is freed of it.
He has it when there is no need of it.
Courage was never designed for show;
It isn't a thing that can come and go;
It's written in victory and defeat
Ane every trial a man may meet.
It's part of his hours, his days and his years,
Back of his smiles and behind his tears.
Courage is more than daring deed:
It's the breath of life and a strong man's creed."
Sometimes we carry the weight of cares that are borrowed, and we wear a long face to prove it's heaviness. We forget that it takes a little courage to know when to retreat to a place all alone.
To return to our day and our lot in life and remember to have the courage to bring home a smile. To give yourself time to sort out our your feelings and make sense of the day. To bring our burdens to the Lord and have the faith to leave them there.
The beach is always a wonderful place to leave your troubles and cleanse your mind. So, just in case one is not nearby use this post as a place to renew your spirit and cast your cares to the Lord, build a bit of courage to run the race again...and when you leave remember to take home a smile.