The clocks have gone back an hour this morning into official winter time. While many of us dread the coming season with its long hours of darkness, it's worth remembering that there are also things to be grateful for.
Like in this poem, Gerard Manley Hopkins talks of the 'world within', as a sort of anti-dote to the one without. There are many inner sources that can be kindled at this time of year, when the external ones lie stark. We may be powerless to 'the times' outside, but not to what is happening within. There, he says, 'your will is law' - we rule the roost, if we merely set our mind to it.
The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less - Gerard Manley Hopkins
The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…