What moments divine, what rapture serene

A new month, a new year. I’m not sorry to say goodbye to 2013 – it’s been a tough year – but recently I have been quietly squirrelling away any energy not taken up by Advent and Christmas in the hope of greeting January 2014 with optimism.

While the first day of a new year is not a miraculous new beginning, I do think there’s a great sense of hope that comes with each January. I shan’t be making a complicated list of resolutions or embarking on any life-changing projects (that I know of!), but this year I will be trying as best I can to keep an open mind, an open heart and a conviction to move more fearlessly through this wonderful world.

On the days when all that proves tough, I’ll have Brendan Kennelly’s words for inspiration:


Begin again to the summoning birds

to the sight of light at the window,

begin to the roar of morning traffic

all along Pembroke Road.

Every beginning is a promise

born in light and dying in dark

determination and exaltation of springtime

flowering the way to work.

Begin to the pageant of queueing girls

the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal

bridges linking the past and future

old friends passing through with us still.

Begin to the loneliness that cannot end

since it perhaps is what makes us begin,

begin to wonder at unknown faces

at crying birds in the sudden rain

at branches stark in the willing sunlight

at seagulls foraging for bread

at couples sharing a sunny secret

alone together while making good.

Though we live in a world that dreams of ending

that always seems about to give in

something that will not acknowledge conclusion

insists that we forever begin.

Brendan Kennelly

Is it cheating a little to add a letter or two and share one of my favourite pieces of music with you? Does anyone know the Cole Porter song Begin the Beguine? If you do, isn’t it wonderful? If you don’t, have a listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing it. I defy you to tell me it’s not a little piece of heaven.

Or, if you are so inclined, tap along to Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. Twirling and swirling your way into a new year is a fairly good beginning, methinks!

One thought on “What moments divine, what rapture serene

  1. Happy New Year Em! I love your statement of ‘moving more fearlessly through this wonderful world’. To quote Nelson Mandela let us all chase our hopes and not our fears this year.

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