Words of Light and Hope from Jane McLarty
For many of us autumn is our favourite season – the hedgerows seem fuller of fruit than ever this year: blackberries, rosehips, hazelnuts, sloes. Windfall apples are everywhere. It’s a season when we can see around us evidence of all that God gives to us, as today’s Collect says: our God is ready ‘to give more than either we desire or deserve.’ Recently I came across this poem by Elizabeth Jennings, which talks about counting up the ‘gracious moments’ – and seeing her calling as expressing in poetry the beauty she sees around her. It’s a reminder to me to take time to notice God’s goodness all around us; and also perhaps that our own calling is to show and embody this goodness to all we meet.
I count the moments of my mercies up
I count the moments of my mercies up.
I make a list of love and find it full.
I do all this before I fall asleep.
Others examine consciences. I tell
My beads of gracious moments shining still.
I count my good hours and they guide me well
Into a sleepless night. It’s when I fill
Pages with what I think I am made for,
A life of writing poems. Then may they heal
The pain of silence for all those who stare
At stars as I do but are helpless to
Make the bright necklace. May I set ajar
The door of closed minds. Words come and words go
And poetry is pain as well as passion.
But in the large flights of imagination
I see for one crammed second, order so
Explicit that I need no more persuasion.