Grateful, Too, for Sunlight on the Garden

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The future Baron is home for the holiday, and we’re going to dig into a feast a little later on in the day. But for moment I’m catching up on some work up here in the Eyrie — there are no real holidays in the Counterjihad.

Having to deal with nasty stuff all day long — and this is increasingly true of most news that comes out of Western Europe — should have made me crabbed and embittered by now. But that hasn’t happened yet: I’m sitting here in a warm, well-lit house, looking out the window at a yard covered with fallen oak leaves. There’s a dogwood by the trunk of the big oak with just a few red leaves still hanging on, lit by watery autumnal sunlight. It all induces an inexplicable sense of calm gratitude.

Thank you, Lord, for putting me here at this time and place to do this unpleasant but necessary work.

Thank you also for the many generous donors whose modest gifts keep Gates of Vienna going. (As a matter of fact, we’re a couple of weeks overdue for our Autumn Fundraiser. It should have happened by now, but circumstances — including my visit to D.C. — intervened to delay it. It will be a LATE Autumn fundraiser by the time it gets going.)

Thank you also for sending us all the tipsters, contributors, and translators who allow us to pack this blog with a cornucopia of useful information. And especially for the translators — they’re all volunteers, and they do a difficult job with cheerful aplomb and astonishing productivity.

And thank you for our readers, who pass our stuff around the Web and leave interesting additional information in our comments section.

During my last trip to D.C. I was once again surprised by the reaction of people I was meeting for the first time. I’d introduce myself and say I was in charge of the Gates of Vienna website, and they’d look surprised, and say, “Wow, so you’re the one who does all that — good to meet you.” That’s a gratifying response.

Thank you, Lord, for giving our work the breadth and reach that it has achieved.

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I’ve posted the following poem before on Thanksgiving, but that was a number of years ago, so here it is again. It was written in the late 1930s; hence its atmosphere of grim foreboding. It seems appropriate for our own time, even though the prodromal period before the 1939 cataclysm was considerably shorter than our own: our clock has been ticking for more than ten years, and we’re still counting down.

This is about gratitude in dire circumstances:

The Sunlight on the Garden
by Louis MacNeice

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

8 thoughts on “Grateful, Too, for Sunlight on the Garden

  1. Beautiful, bitter-sweet poem which I don’t recall seeing before. Not to show off (I did Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” in Eng Lit at school), but line eighteen references Antony to Cleopatra: “I am dying, Egypt, dying”. I hope we’re not, especially this side of the Pond.

    A Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and all Americans here.

    • Yes, and “hardened in heart anew” is reference to the Biblical story of Pharaoh in Exodus, whose heart was repeatedly hardened (by God) against the Israelites.

      • ‘ “hardened in heart anew” ‘

        probably Moses wrote the book of Exodus. Whoever did, he knew about human psychology as much as Freud. That “Hardened in heart” would not make sense if we did not have parallel sentiments today:

        Lucifer hardened as flint anew, and as Usama ‘s and the Pirate May’s, Blair’s and Merkel’s hearts, after Manchester, and London (2005), and Christmas attack (Germany), massacres.

        Hillary warned: ( Daily Newspaper)

        Europe needs to get a handle on immigration or it could elect its own Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton warns
        Clinton said inflaming voter fears on immigration lead to President Trump’s election in the United States and the Brexit situation in the United Kingdom

        Her tenor of mind drives me mad but not half-witted simpletons:

        From what she said you conclude that :

        1. Immigration is causing untold amounts of problems, which make people worried about their future (but not traitors because traitors get their votes).

        2. She is afraid native people get frustrated with immigration (New Swedes, New British), then they will elect a Trump ( a horrible one ) who will stop immigration and New Votes.

        You see how wise she is: she is giving Europe an advanced warning. But it is a strange contradictory warning. She is so wise she can see things NOW that others have predicted 40 years ago.

        Doomsday coming upon the Earth yes. Why? Because these creature have the buttons of nuclear hell.

        We are helpless, oh dictators of democracies.

  2. Beautiful and heart-warming poem, Baron. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    I wish you, your beloved and all readers a blessed time towards and feast of Christmas.

  3. It is good to give thanks to the Lord. A blessed day of giving thanks to you and yours.
    Here in SoCal we very good reason to give thanks. It rained last night with about half an inch to wash all the dust off and have a cheery Thanksgiving morning.

  4. Sometimes it is very hard to be grateful in this day and age. Thank you for the example. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.


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