As I pondered this month’s theme (gathering), a line poetry kept popping into my head. Which is weird, ’cause I don’t read (and certainly don’t write) a lot of poetry. But this particular poem was quoted in one of my favorite movies, Dead Poet’s Society. Does it relate to the theme? I’ll let you decide.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
The poem was written by Robert Herrick in the 17th century as part of the carpe diem genre. And Dead Poets was all about carpe diem (What, you’ve never seen Dead Poets’ Society? Stop reading right now, and go watch. The post will be here when you’re done.).
December puts me in a weird mood. Almost a funk. It’s cold, dark, and (dare I say it) a little dreary in Pittsburgh. I sit back and look at the list, written in January, of the things I wanted to accomplish. And all too often, I focus on the things I didn’t get done.
But what if I turned it around? What if I said, “Dang, look at everything I accomplished!” And I bet some of the things that remain undone are the result of seizing an opportunity that arose during the year. An opportunity that would only come around once. Instead of saying “Oh, I wanted to do X, Y, and Z and I didn’t get Z done,” what if I realized I didn’t get Z done because I’d seized the opportunity to do something else, like M? And after all, Z rarely has an expiration date, right? So if Z is really important, there’s always next year.
I suspect that if we did that – focused on the times when we carpe diem-ed – instead of dwelling on our “misses,” we’d all be happier. So there’s my challenge folks. Go forth into 2016 and gather those roses.
Mary Sutton | @mary_sutton73