When I was 17 or 18, I wouldn’t have believed anyone who told me I’d be wishing to quote T S Eliot later in life. I can still remember my outrage at being asked to make sense of ‘The Waste Land’.
But strange things happen! This is an extract from ‘Little Gidding’ (No. 4 of Four Quartets) and it makes me catch my breath. If you have ever been alone in a country church on a dark Sunday afternoon, I hope you will feel it too.
Lynne Jenkins, who writes ‘Echoes of the Past’, has kindly allowed me to use one of her photos; Lynne loves exploring old churches, and I’m always fascinated by her discoveries. This picture was taken at St Peter’s Church at Belton-in-Rutland. I thought it was perfect!
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.
T S Eliot, ‘Little Gidding’ (1942)
Photo copyright © Lynne Jenkins