Tuesday, October 16, 2012

'Tis the gift to be simple

'Tis the gift to be simple,                                                  
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right.

This is a Shaker song "Simple Pleasures", and not that I'm anywhere near "Shakerdom", but the gift to be simple is ringing true to me these days. As a matter of fact, I'm beginning to feel grateful to former President Bush and the Banks with their stinking usury for forcing me (by loosing all my possessions) to see how lovely a simple life can be.

This morning as I was out early, walking the new puppy, I heard a car engine starting, and I remembered all the years I  headed off to work before dawn. The only nice thing about that was looking up at a star filled cloudless sky in total solitude. I used to start at 7, an hour before most, so it was very peaceful.

Anyhow, I often wonder what makes us want so much. There are things now that make it so much easier to have less. I used to have a huge library, and now I have my kindle (not the fancy kind, a really nice used one I got for $60).

I used to have a really big house. My bedroom was bigger than our whole house now, and although my whirlpool tub was fantastic, it didn't ever erase the stress of the work I had to do to earn it.

I can also admit, that like most people, my want for a better home was for my family. I wanted a nice, safe, comfortable home for them. And the schools were better, much better than where we live now.

But what makes us think that we are not worthwhile human beings if we're not making $250K a year, or that we aren't productive enough or contributing enough to society? Who is it that makes us think that we have to strive to make more and have more. I'm no longer convinced that materialism is the route to happiness. Maybe we should be more like the lilies of the field or maybe we should just turn turn turn for delight.

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