Children smiling, some of them cheerfully playing in the sunshine, and a young female soldier laughing with a friend, these are BBC images of second-day truce in Syria that brought to mind – one daydreamer to another – the great Hindu poet and seer Rabindranath Tagore. No matter that he was writing and speaking in another context and in another age: like Alpha and Omega, prophetic vision speaks and inspires in innumerable beginnings and endings – which we understand now are continuing expansions. Both endings and beginnings are new creations – like children playing and a young soldier’s laughter …

I suddenly felt as if some ancient mist had
in a moment lifted from my sight and the
ultimate significance of all things was laid
bare … Immediately I found the world bathed
in a wonderful radiance with waves of beauty
and joy swelling on every side, and no person
or thing in the world seemed to me trivial or

Rabindranath Tagore
Quoted by Benjamin Walker
The Hindu World, volume 2, page 475