Short time to the timeless

A gate, tombstone and surprisingly modern clock on the cathedral at Hawkshead, Lake District, England. Taken about 4pm in July 2009 on my E71.

Hawkshead is said to have a ‘timeless atmosphere’ but it would seem time has a fair grip in this beautiful part of England, as it does everywhere. Guarded by a squeaky gate, and touched by a tipping tombstone, the clock face reminds us that time, and perhaps death, waits for no one. No wonder we are invited by the Maker of time to ‘number our days aright’ in the sense of being aware of our frailty and brevity. At the same time… sorry… on the other hand… sorry, can’t avoid the time puns… In another sense, it is the very scarcity of our days that makes them so rich with meaning as we seek to ‘reedem the time’ and live fully and purposely. It is when we fool ourselves that time is not moving, that we are not changing and that we have all the time in the world, that we waste this most precious of commodities.  Likewise, if we try and save time, as in cutting corners, rushing or skimping, we tend to waste time just as profoundly. Anyway, the best news is, that our times are in His hands. Our time to live, to die, to love, to let go. Give him your time and He’ll give you yours. Now that’s truly timeless.English poet William Wordsworth was educated at Hawkshead Grammar School and no doubt walked through this very gate, past the tombstone and into this cathedral. He describes this region eloquently in The Prelude, a poem he began in 1798, aged 28, and spent the rest of his life working on, without publishing. And interesting use of time. It is also known as ‘the poem to [Samuel Taylor] Coleridge, his contemporary, or the “poem on the growth of my own mind.”

Time, place, and manners do I seek, and these
Are found in plenteous store, but nowhere such
As may be singled out with steady choice;
Wordsworth, The Prelude, Lines 158-160
Perhaps he is saying we never had enough time (place and manners) to be content, even with disciplined choice. That is because we are made with eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and time is never enough. PH

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