I was at St. John’s College last night for a meditation on the Passion of Christ. In between the choir songs and the biblical readings, we had poems recited, the meditation of believers of the past on Christ’s Passion. One was by Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), an excerpt from Little Gidding V.
T. S. Eliot really speaks to my heart, and the poem took me back to the time I visited the village of Little Gidding, not far from Cambridge. I remember sitting in a sea of greens, in absolute serenity, tormented by nothing but the strong winds… Enjoy it:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half heard, in the stillness
Between the two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”