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, turning we will come 'round right.
If you ever sang choir in high school, or were active in your church, you've probably sung that song at some point in your life. This is a Shaker song that dates back to the mid-1800's, reminding us all that the simple gifts are the ones you should cherish. Here, on the edge of Amish country, I'm surrounded by families that have chosen a simpler life. It's not the life for me, but I do see the appeal in it.
Life, as many enlightened and contented people have pointed out, is in the small things.It's waking up before your alarm clock and realizing you still have time to sleep. It's a smell from your childhood wafting by, reminding you. It's a long, hot shower - or a cool one after a few hours of yard work. Having a baby fall asleep in your arms.
For me, it's drinking a mug of tea on my screen porch on a summer morning. It's watching my kids sleep. It's digging out the corner brownie before the kids break into them. It's closing a book that ended in exactly the right way. It's writing a story that does the same. It's falling asleep with the sound of rain on the window, and walking in freshly fallen snow. It's hearing that song, and remembering where I was, or who I was when it became important to me.
All of these little things - these are the endless chain of moments that make a life. Dwell on the good stuff. The rest will get it's own time. Look for the peaceful, the small, the seemingly insignificant things that uplift your soul and root you at the same time. Bow and bend and turn your face into it, and by turning, turning, turning you will come 'round right.
What about you? What are some of your simple pleasures?