Time to Stand and Stare

I created this photo story to convey the importance of living in the moment and taking time to enjoy life.

The Photo Story

In 2020, I was going through old photographs and came across a photo of my mom, my uncle, and my grandfather fishing along a river. I began thinking about the recent deaths of Nancy Ruth (Bolger) Smith (August 3, 1939-August 31, 2020), my mother and Robert Glenn Bolger (Feb 26, 1926-Oct 20, 2020) my uncle. I realized that Glenn Bolger (Sep 18, 1911-Nov 15, 1971), my grandfather died at age 60, my age.

A book I was reviewing began with a poem written by Welsh poet W.H. Davies. It reminded me about the importance of taking time for leisure activities and living in the moment.

“Time to Stand and Stare” has become my philosophy for retirement. I have no way of knowing whether I’ll die young like my grandfathers; in the middle of the “4th quarter” like my mom and uncle; or well into the 90s like my great-grandmother Dorothy Sorensen Kinnick (Jun 26, 1887-Nov 28, 1982), great uncle Leo Millard Kinnick (Mar 21, 1917-Jul 25, 2016), and great aunt Laura May Wilson Anderson (Jan 23, 1876-Nov 30, 1970).

The Photo

The black and white photo was taken in Iowa during the mid-1940s. It shows my mother (Nancy Smith) and uncle (Bob Bolger) who both died in 2020, along with my grandfather (Glenn Bolger) who died young at age 60.

The Poem

William Henry Davies (3 Jul, 1871-26 Sep, 1940) was a Welsh poet and writer who lived in the United Kingdom and United States. His themes focused on his observations and adventures along with how the human condition is reflected in nature.

Leisure by W.H. Davies from Songs of Joy and Others (1911)

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.