Sunday, January 01, 2012

Poem for New Year's Day and National Zoo

God Knows
By Minnie Louise Haskins

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart bestill:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.


That poem was published in 1908 but was made famous by King George VI, who quoted it in his 1939 Christmas broadcast to the people of Britain. The words are engraved on the gates of the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle, where George VI and Elizabeth are buried. And speaking of Bertie and Elizabeth, congratulations to Helena Bonham Carter, who like Colin Firth earlier this year has been made a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list, according to The Telegraph and numerous other sources.

My family spent the last morning of 2011 at the National Zoo. Adam and Maddie went off to do their own thing as soon as we arrived, so we went with Daniel to see the Asian Trail, Bird House, Small Mammal House, Amazonia, Great Cats, Elephant Walk, and various other animals including the spectacled bears which are back on public display on weekends after having babies. The red pandas also had babies in 2011 and they were out climbing together, looking adorable. We had lunch in the Mane Restaurant and came home in the late afternoon.

Daniel and I watched a couple of DS9 episodes while I folded laundry, then we had fake boeuf aux champignons and watched Daleks: Invasion Earth: 2150 AD which Paul was in the mood for (I absolutely refuse to watch any bowl game sponsored by Chick-fil-a). Now we have Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest on being self-congratulatory. Have a very Happy New Year and best wishes for 2011!

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