One of my favourite songs by Jason Mraz. Together with an excerpt from a well-known Ode by one of my favourite—because easily accessible—poets, W Wordsworth.
. . . The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest—
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never:
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
. . . . . . .
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
— William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
I remember this immortality from days of long ago. Everyone does. Who can forget those feelings of invincibility? When nothing is ever too difficult?
But when we remember our age too much, we feel mortal. In remembering too much, a friend once wrote, misery and self-pity can be too much to bear.
The best antidote? To be around the kind of people who feed our souls with gladness. They feed us, and in their feeding, give us intimations of immortality.