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Leisure – Stop and Stare


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
— W. H. Davies


I first came across Leisure way back in school, and since then it has been one of my favourite poems. A repeated gentle reminder to enjoy life. To absorb the small little things all around me that are free and beautiful.

We are stuck in a race though life, a race for money, a race for promotions, a race for everything. And in this race we miss out on some the most valuable things.

Every time I catch the dogs sitting and staring out with no real objective I’m reminded of ‘Leisure’. They seem to be listening to the birds, watching them fly about, listening the leaves rustle, the clouds slowly waft across, the sun move across the sky…

Well, I think they are doing all of this. But maybe they aren’t, however they are definitely like W. H. Davies describes it doing a ‘stand and stare’. 😀

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