My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), My Heart Leaps Up, or The Rainbow, 1802
After Cambridge University, a walking tour in Europe brought William Wordsworth into contact with the French Revolution and the 'common man'. A leading figure of the Romantic Movement, he was fascinated by the natural world and its relationship to the 'human self', including the importance of childhood. Having recently celebrated my own 90th birthday I was gripped by the remark of the 90 year old in the 'Housegroup meeting' at Moorfield Court, Southwell, who described herself as a 'recycled teenager'. She reminded me that God is the God of new beginnings. 'So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!' (II Corinthians 5:17).