Greedy Grief

Posted on July 8, 2012

Another Sunday Afternoon

When I am lying under a tree watching the sun appear as one thousand tiny stars through the canopy of leaves, I often think of this little poem from “At the Back of the North Wind.”

As for Greedy Grief. It belongs to those who don’t enjoy the journey unless it ends well. It belongs to those who focus on the stars they couldn’t reach, rather than being content with what they have seen and found on the way.


What would you see if I took you up,
To my little nest in the air?
You would see the sky like a clear blue cup,
Turned upside downwards there.

What would you do if I took you there,
To my little nest in the tree?
My child with cries would trouble the air,
To get what she could but see.

What would you get in the top of the tree,
for all your crying and grief?
Not a star would you clutch of all you see –
You could only gather a leaf.

But when you had lost your greedy grief,
Content to see from afar.
You would find in your hand a withering leaf,
In your heart a shining star.

(George MacDonald)

Posted in: Nature, People