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.
Little Gidding V,
– T.S. Eliot (1943)
This poem contains one of my all-time favorite quote from T.S. Eliot.
I used to look at life as a series of destinations:
graduations, getting married, coming of the children,
marking milestones in their lives,
promotions, new jobs, higher responsibilities
and then retirement.
This poem has changed my perspective.
For the better and for a richer, deeper perspective on life.
Today I look at life more as a journey of exploration;
and I mean to enjoy it not thinking of any particular destination.
I keep on coming back to familiar places and I see things I never saw before.
I love seeing the same people and I learn something knew every time.
I take time to relish the sights and the sounds and I hear new songs all the time.
I savor the tastes and the smells and my palate is different each time.
Like any long journey, I try to travel light.
I leave all my unnecessary baggage behind,
be these material things or unpleasant memories.
I take only what I need:
a eye for wonder,
a taste for adventure,
and a happy heart.
I smile at everyone I meet.
I am ready to share my stories with others
specially if they can spare the time to have coffee or wine with me.
I do right and to love and enjoy nature,
the people in my life and whom I meet on the journey,
and then there is my constant traveling companion, God.