The Darkling Thrush
This is one of my favourite new year poems, written at the beginning of a new century on the eve of December, 1900. The tiny ageing thrush has little to be joyful about, yet still manages to sing through the gloom.
In our description of the Butterfly Approach, we say “We want everyone to wake up with a sense of hope and go to bed with a sense of satisfaction.” When we don’t have anything to look forward to or any sense that things could change for the better, then it is not surprising that we can sink into depression or despair. In the face of all the variants of Covid19, this has never felt more relevant.
The dictionary definition of ‘hope’ is ‘to cherish a desire with anticipation.’ As we age or if we develop a dementia, it might be argued that there might be less to look forward to. Yet, if we are really achieving great care, we can create a sense of anticipation, excitement and hope day by day, or even moment by moment. The ‘desire’ might be for something very little like eating an ice cream or watching a sunset. If it breaks up the normal routines of the day, it can bring a warm and comforting feeling inside that all is still well in the world.
Let us continue to be hopeful ourselves in 2023 and to pass on this hope to others, just as the Darkling Thrush did for Thomas Hardy on a cold, winter night.