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The Bright Field

About a year ago, Kathy and I picked up her mom about an hour away from where we live and drove her to the hospital for tests. She is non-verbal, but it does not mean she does not communicate. It was early morning and the sun lit up fields of freshly cut hay in furrows and bales.

Despite the early hour, about 6:00  AM, the scene was spectacular. Suddenly, I sensed movement beside me and turned to see Kathy’s mom waving her arm, smiling, and trying to form words. I think the treasures of those bright fields lit up the day for her filling her with rich memories reminding her of early mornings on the farm.

R. S. Thomas reminds us we live in each moment, not in dim futures and idealized pasts. There is brightness in moments when we realize that even when something cannot be spoken and words fail us, its essence is communicated and shines like a sun illuminating each field we pas in life.

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

22 responses »

  1. The title of your post had a valuable meaning and important in our life.

  2. Very beautiful post! I particularly love the last verse of the poem.

  3. In the Stillness of Willow Hill

    The idea of light always resonates with me. This poem captures the essence of light nicely. On the same note, I was listening to John Denver today, “Sunshine almost always makes me high,” and found myself tearing up as always. John and I must be kindred spirits because I feel the same way.

  4. Life and light…it’s what life is all about, both a destination and a reward. I loved the poem and the memory.

  5. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Treasured moments, recaptured.

  7. Beautiful! I often find plants in the woods that are lit by a single ray of sunshine as. if they are in the spotlight and want you to find and admire them.

  8. “Seeing or experiencing” the bright moment is often what remains with me when I begin a painting….inspiration that is like a radiant memory of a fleeting moment, incomparable and without words.

  9. Beautiful post and I loved the poem.I agree completely with RS Thomas


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