Friday, 6 November 2015

Picking more daisies

In one of my yoga classes last week, our teacher, Ali, read us a poem.  Reportedly written by an octogenarian woman called Nadine Stair who is reflecting on her life, the poem is called 'If I Had my Life to Live Over'.

You will find the poem sprinkled liberally over the Internet on blogs and websites devoted to happier modes of living.  I wondered whether it would be okay to reproduce it in full here.  I have decided that Nadine Stair wanted her reflections to be shared: so I will.

As it becomes colder and the days shorten, it feels like the perfect time to become a little more reflective myself; to sit by the fire and think about what comes next.  So I am working on my personal version of a poem like Nadine's.  To write it, I am simply thinking about the things that make me happy and fulfilled and the things that don't.  It's not a 'bucket list' poem of goals to achieve, destinations to visit etc.  It's about understanding what I would like the essence of my life to be.  I think I'm going to call it 'For the Rest of my Life'.  It's good fun: it's making me smile.

This is Nadine's poem about her life.  

If I had my life to live over,
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax.  I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles,
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I am one of those people who has lived sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else,
just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,
a raincoat and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over.
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

Nadine Stair