Last Night, A Summation of Philosophy

On summer nights I sit on the corner of my deck, next to a tiny stream with rivulets that bubble and gurgle over rocks into a small pond. It is a magic time, the last hour of purple twilight where the world begin’s to give up the heat of the day and prepare’s for the cool of night. Tiny finches come for their evening bath and the hummingbirds take their last sip of nectar from the day lilies. In the cool stillness comes an exquisite awareness of the odor of flowers, the timorous beginnings of cricket songs, and always, the sound of the water. I sit and merge my mind with the liquid murmurings of the stream and let the day wash away. My peace. My contentment.

Sometimes, as my mind drift’s through the currents and eddies of the stream, a thought will pause, a glimmer of something, a stirring within me, a heart connection of new understanding.

Last night, a rememberance of early childhood, playing with my cousins…

[i]Ring around the rosy,

A pocket full of posies,

Ashes, ashes,

We all fall down.[/i]

A simple child’s game. Holding hands, going around in circles, falling and laughing, doing it again and again…

Has this not been my life? Is it not the sum of myself? In our coming into being and our returning, do we need more than this? Each of us, in our time will fall down, …ashes, ashes… but the game, this simple game, will never end. Can all of philosophy, religion and science take us past this game of children? Not if we listen with our heart.

Come, let’s play


Beautiful Tent.

That took me right back. It was like climbing into the attic and finding some old memories put away a long, long time ago… then forgotten.

I love the line: “It is a magic time, the last hour of purple twilight where the world begins to give up the heat of the day”
That line blew me away… like a sudden gust of wind into my soul.

I could smell the salt in the air and the sharp smell of earthy grass. I could remember how I would feel the breeze on my face and arms while watching it move the ever darkening purple clouds above.

Childhood is magical… and I don’t believe it has gone. :smiley:


JT, in my heart I haven’t stopped dancing…



If you guys don’t stop it, I am going cry. Beautiful visual, km. :slight_smile:

you know, tentative, that children’s game is supposed to be a folk rendition of the black death.


Why don’t you let me make you some nice warm chocolate chip cookies and a glass of cold milk? I’ll even let you dunk.


I didn’t know that, but it is fitting. One can sense both the on-going game of life and the ending of life as well. Thats what triggered it for me. The completeness of the ‘game’.


That idea is incorrect:

Ring Around the Rosie
Where did the children’s rhyme Ring Around the Rosie come from? Does it have any meaning? Or is it just a nonsense rhyme?

Ring around the rosie
A pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down
The common folkloric explanation is that this is a rhyme about the bubonic plague. “Ring around the rosie” refers to buboes on the skin. “A pocket full of posies” refers to flowers kept in the pocket to ward off the disease. “Ashes, ashes” is a reference to death, as in “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” The common variant of the third line, “Atishoo, atishoo,” is a reference to sneezing and sickness. Finally, falling down is a representation of death.

A neat tale. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support it.

The earliest printed version of the rhyme is from 1881, some 225 years after the last great plague struck England, and some 550 years after the Black Death of the 14th century–the outbreak most commonly associated with the bubonic plague. For the folkloric explanation to be true, the rhyme would have to have remained underground for over two centuries, defying the efforts of numerous recorders of folklore, and then finally appear in the form of a children’s nursery rhyme. Words and phrases can remain underground a long time, but not that long.

But the most convincing evidence against the plague explanation is that the earliest versions of the rhyme are different, and are less subject to the plague interpretation. The earliest recorded version of the rhyme appears in Kate Greenaway’s Mother Goose from 1881:

Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
Hush! hush! hush! hush!
We’re all tumbled down
This version appears not so much as a story about death and disease, but rather about falling asleep after a day of picking flowers.

The rhyme appears almost simultaneously in America, published in an American book of children’s rhymes in 1883. In that book, Games and Songs of American Children, William Wells Newell claims, that the following version was common among the children of Massachusetts in 1790 (although he provides no evidence to support this earlier date):

Ring a ring a rosie,
A bottle full of posie,
All the girls in our town
Ring for little Josie
Newell also published a different version of the rhyme, one that explains the falling down line and he provides some commentary on how the children played the game and what the words mean:

Round the ring of roses,
Pots full of posies,
The one who stoops last
Shall tell whom she loves best
Newell comments:

At the end of the words the children suddenly stoop, and the last to get down undergoes some penalty, or has to take the place of the child in the centre, who represents the rosie (rose-tree; French, rosier).
Many other early variants exist. Few, if any, can be interpreted to refer to the plague.

OK, so if it’s not about the plague, what is it about? Well, most likely it is simply nonsense, like Hickory, Dickory, Dock or the cow jumping over the moon.

I owe a special debt of gratitude to Ian Munro , who has compiled most of this information in his own web site. That site contains a lot more information on the subject, including a more complete list of variants.


And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…