A day of happy hours
'I was not for that hour / Nor for that place', Wordsworth wrote in The Prelude, in 1805, and at the moment I am not for the hour and place of the next election unless the British people can be rid of all the career politicians who have served them so miserably.
For Wordsworth, the hour and place lay at Grasmere, where people lived in community, faced hardships with fortitude and dignity and experienced 'darling pleasures', as he wrote in his poem The Brothers.
To support his family, Wordsworth worked as a stamp distributor. He became involved in politics over the years, but, like us, was often frustrated with the results. For his heart's content, he wrote poetry, walked in the Lake District and depended on the company and support of his wife, his sister and his friends.
For our hearts' content, he left us his poetry -
. . .For busy thoughts the Stream flowed on
In foamy agitation;
And slept in many a crystal pool
For quiet contemplation:
No public and no private care
The freeborn mind enthralling,
We made a day of happy hours,
Our happy days recalling. . .
. . .And if, as Yarrow, through the woods
And down the meadow ranging,
Did meet us with unaltered face,
Though we were changed and changing;
If, then, some natural shadows spread
Our inward prospect over,
The soul's deep valley was not slow
Its brightness to recover. . .
-from Yarrow Revisited
Wordsworth hoped that all his work formed one growing and unified whole.
I think wholeness is something we aspire to in our lives. To create days of happy hours and a life that is a growing and unified whole we will interweave love, family, friendship, politics, the body's comfort, the mind's curiosity and the soul's brightness. And, if those I trust are any guide, praise the Lord.