Saturday, 31 December 2011

Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown...

New Year's Eve usually finds me in a reflective mood.  I am not fond of the celebrations usually associated with New Year - the parties with virtual strangers and false bonhomie and all that build up of expectation and making of unrealistic resolutions. 

You are more likely to find me sitting in our cosy living room, looking at the candles in the fireplace and thinking about the year past.  We've also started to think about our plans for the year ahead - what we shall plant and make, places we want to visit, plus what we shall do next to Hazel Cottage.

King George VI used a poem often called 'The Gate of the Year' by Minnie Louise Haskins in his 1939 Christmas radio broadcast.  The first few lines are:

'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.”

 I've always loved the poem as it acknowledges that the year ahead is unknown and that we may need guidance in what is to come.  I know that the religious theme is not everyone's taste, but the imagery of the light is rather comforting and it also insists that we must be fearless in going out into the darkness and uncertainty of the new year. 

In all my reflections I have to say that 2011 has been a very happy and creative year here at Hazel Cottage, so I will end with a poem about the joyous bells that ring in the new year.  Happy New Year!

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850


  1. Have just found you through Sophie's Fading Grace,look forward to reading more.Happy New year to you.Love Jill xx

  2. Hello Jill, thanks for your comment, hope to see you on the blog again soon!


  3. A happy New Year from all of us at the Piggery! Mum and I have enjoyed reading your blog.

    Mandie and Mum xx

  4. Hello! :) Glad you enjoy it, sending love from us two here xxxx