Christmas Greetings from Bangkok 2015
An old and dear friend and classmate since our Secondary 1 days (first year of high school) in Singapore sent me this poem as part of his Christmas greetings this year. It was a poem he read as a young boy at a school annual event that moved him so much he taped it to the cupboard in his bedroom for years to serve as an inspiration for him at the start of each day.
In his late teens when his family migrated to England, his mother carefully removed the tape from the piece of paper and packed it together with his other mementoes. She somehow knew, as mothers would, that one day her son will want to read these words again.
Fifty years on, as my friend was rummaging through his old camphor wood
chest, he found his cherished poem carefully packed by his mother together with all the other family treasures.
I’m grateful to my friend for sharing his inspiring story and poem with me. At the end of 2015, as we stand at the threshold of a new year, please let me share these words with you.
The Gate of the Year
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”
Written in 1908 by Minnie
Louise Haskins (1875 – 1957) – a retired academic London School of Economics
This poem was read by King George VI in his Christmas message to the nation in December 1939 when the dark clouds of war were looming over Europe.
It was read again at the funeral of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002.
This poem is inscribed at the entrance to the George VI memorial chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor and in a window in the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy, the private chapel of HM the Queen that’s dedicated to St John the Baptist.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East
May these words be your guide in the coming years. Have a warm and Merry Christmas with your family and friends and a very Happy New Year; and may you be guided in the years ahead to do the right thing
along the right path.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year in 2016!
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