Fond memories have I of reading fairy stories by George MacDonald to my baby daughter, now in her early 20’s …
Lord, what I once had done with youthful might,
Had I been from the first true to the truth,
Grant me, now old, to do — with better sight,
And humbler heart, if not the brain of youth …
The soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made;
Stronger by weakness, wiser, men become
As they draw nearer to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
Love will not backward sigh, but forward strain
On in the tale still telling, never told. …
from: The Diary of an Old Soul, by the Scotsman, George MacDonald (1824–1905) with a hat tip to David Warren whose site on which I found this bit.
And we move to change our focus from a warm and fuzzy past to a stark vision, we now look at the frenzy of our daily lives …
“The rule of no realm is mine, but all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?” – Gandalf/The Return of the King/J.R.R. Tolkien
“Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” – Gandalf/The Return of the King/J.R.R. Tolkien