Saturday, 8 March 2014

These Things I Know

I recently came across this poem in a talk by Boyd K. Packer. I was so touched by it that I felt compelled to share it.

I reached the age of 68. I felt impressed to start what I called an “Unfinished Composition.” The first part of that work goes like this:

I had a thought the other night,

A thought profound and deep.

It came when I was too worn down,

Too tired to go to sleep.

I’d had a very busy day

And pondered on my fate.

The thought was this:

When I was young, I wasn’t 68!

I could walk without a limp;

I had no shoulder pain.

I could read a line through twice

And quote it back again.

I could work for endless hours

And hardly stop to breathe.

And things that now I cannot do

I mastered then with ease.

If I could now turn back the years,

If that were mine to choose,

I would not barter age for youth,

I’d have too much to lose.

I am quite content to move ahead,

To yield my youth, however grand.

The thing I’d lose if I went back

Is what I understand.

Ten years later, I decided to add a few more lines to that poem:

Ten years have flown to who knows where

And with them much of pain.

A metal hip erased my limp;

I walk quite straight again.

Another plate holds neck bones fast--

A wonderful creation!

It backed my polio away;

I’ve joined the stiff-necked generation.

The signs of aging can be seen.

Those things will not get better.

The only thing that grows in strength

With me is my forgetter.

You ask, “Do I remember you?”

Of course, you’re much the same.

Now don’t go getting all upset

If I can’t recall your name.

I would agree I’ve learned some things

I did not want to know,

But age has brought those precious truths

That make the spirit grow.

Of all the blessings that have come,

The best thing in my life

Is the companionship and comfort

I get from my dear wife.

Our children all have married well,

With families of their own,

With children and grandchildren,

How soon they all have grown.

I have not changed my mind one bit

About regaining youth.

We’re meant to age, for with it

Comes a knowledge of the truth.

You ask, “What will the future bring?

Just what will be my fate?”

I’ll go along and not complain.

Ask when I’m 88!

And last year I added these lines:

And now you see I’m 88.

The years have flown so fast.

I walked, I limped, I held a cane,

And now I ride at last.

I take a nap now and again,

But priesthood power remains.

For all the physical things I lack

There are great spiritual gains.

I have traveled the world a million miles

And another million too.

And with the help of satellites,

My journeys are not through.

I now can say with all certainty

That I know and love the Lord.

I can testify with them of old

As I preach His holy word.

I know what He felt in Gethsemane

Is too much to comprehend.

I know He did it all for us;

We have no greater Friend.

I know that He will come anew

With power and in glory.

I know I will see Him once again

At the end of my life’s story.

I’ll kneel before His wounded feet;

I’ll feel His Spirit glow.

My whispering, quivering voice will say,

“My Lord, my God, I know.”

Friday, 17 January 2014

There is No Royal Road!

“There is no royal road to any learning, no matter what it is. There is no royal road to any righteous living, no matter who you are or where you are. There is no royal road to anything that is worth while. Nothing that is deserving of earning or of cherishing comes except through hard work. I care not how much of a genius you may be, the rule will still hold.”

— J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Cork City - Home of the Happy Man

Nearly every major event of my early life took place in close proximity to the River Lee.  It used to even visit our home :-)


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hidden Deep Within

Hidden deep within each of us, totally uninfluenced by circumstances, is that little core of happiness. Find that and you find power beyond your dreams - PiperHawk

Friday, 9 November 2012

Honour and Divinity

Honour, integrity and moral courage make up the qualities which add divinity to our lives.

Monday, 26 December 2011

'Molly Chamberpots' and The Wren Boys

My earliest memories of St Steven's day would certainly include the 'wren' or  'wran' boys coming around to the doors of the houses early in the morning. You would first hear them at the neighbouring houses, getting louder and louder until the racket would arrive at our door. I call it a racket because they would beat out the time of the song on the front door with a large bunch of ivy. The song they sang in my part of Cork was quite often unrecognisable but quite often went like this:

 The wran the wran the king of all birds,
Up in the holly and ivy tree,
Whether its big or whether its small,
Give us a copper and we'll leave ye alone.

Knock at the knocker,
Ring at the bell,
Give us a copper,
For singing so well.

In our lane one house was always avoided, as the woman of the house was well known for emptying the contents of a chamber pot out of the upstairs window over the unwelcome callers. She became known locally as 'Molly Chamberpots'.