At Mass last Sunday, Dennis Dillon, SJ, ended his homily with this poem by Alden Nowland. It’s titled “Great Things Have Happened.”
We were talking about the great things
that have happened in our lifetimes;
and I said, “Oh, I suppose the moon landing
was the greatest thing that has happened
in my time.” But, of course, we were all lying.
The truth is the moon landing didn’t mean
one-tenth as much to me as one night in 1963
when we lived in a three-room flat in what once had been
the mansion of some Victorian merchant prince
(our kitchen had been a clothes closet, I’m sure),
on a street where by now nobody lived
who could afford to live anywhere else.
That night, the three of us, Claudine, Johnnie and me,
woke up at half-past four in the morning
and ate cinnamon toast together.
“Is that all?” I hear somebody ask.
Read the rest of the poem here.Image by trawin under a Creative Commons license.
Yes, fine sentiments. And I agree. Additionally, I still remember the awe, the majesty, of our first moon landing.
What a great state of mind to be in, “half-tipsy with the wonder
of being alive, and wholly enveloped in love.” I believe that this is the way God is calling us to live every day as we accept God’s unconditional love for each of us. Thanks for this poem.
Ah to live in an antique mansion and imagine what went on then, gone footsteps that echo across the decades and strains of voices past that mingle yet with the winds of time. Yes. That is love. And it is 4:30 in my morning too.