By Melodious Monk
In his thought-provoking and deeply moving poem, Intimations of Immortality, I see poet William Wordsworth beautifully wrestling with one of the basic human questions — Why am I here? The title suggests there are indirect clues around us, intimate clues that hint at something beyond this mortal life. I like to believe that all of us are born knowing of heaven. The poem begins reflecting on childhood
There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;–Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
This final line of this first stanza begs the question, Why? Why can I see these things no more? The poem continues reminiscing about childhood “intimations” of immortality mostly in nature, until stanza four ends with two lines of questions:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
These are good honest questions. Questions that I want to take more time to pray and meditate about. I think of my Christian life, and how some of the wonder, joy, and belief in the impossible has seemingly run away. I like the start of Wordsworth’s answer to these questions:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
How can I re-establish my agendas to see “celestial light” in “every common sight?” What a Joy this adventure home can still be!