Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sunday Scribbling-Simple

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be...

Simple Gifts, Shaker Hymn, 1848

I've always loved this hymn tune. The Shaker's, one of the first religious groups to participate in a communal lifestyle, believed practicing a life of simplicity was the key to happiness on earth, as well as eternal happiness in Heaven.
But life is never simple, is it? I've been trying to make a decision about my life, one that would actually simplify it greatly. Yet I'm constantly torn between doing what I know is sensible and logical, and following the desire of my heart. Not simple at all.
My life in general often seems much too complex, and yet I admit that when I don't have a lot going on, I feel restless, unfulfilled. In the midst of running here, there, and everywhere, I find a great deal of satisfaction in crossing items off a long "to do" list.
As with everything in life, balance and moderation are the key. The Shaker's, well known for their innovations in lifestyle, farming, and carpentry, went to extremes in their social practices. Procreation was prohibited in this religion, so, not surprisingly, there are no Shaker's left!
The key to life, simple or complex, lies in the last two stanza's of the hymn...
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

For more Simple thoughts, look here



Blogger paris parfait said...

Ah, "the place just right!" And where is that exactly, where the perfect balance is to be found - a question I've been asking myself for years! I like the Shaker bent to the prompt; didn't realise procreation was a taboo for them!

Anonymous bella said...

I get the same satisfaction from a busy day too. I hope you find the right balance for you.

Blogger Patry Francis said...

"Love and delight"--something we need to remind ourselves to choose every day.

Blogger Star said...

This song has been circling around in my brain since seeing the prompt as well. I, also, did not realize that the Shakers were not procreators.

I can understand what you are getting at with being pulled by being busy and feeling like you have too much free time. When we have one we want the other and vice versa. What I really hope for these days is learning to feel fulfilled while not being pulling-my-hair-out busy.

Blogger Tammy said...

I had no idea that's why there are no more Shakers. Balance and simplicity are very tough indeed. They focused on work and their talents because they had no kids or nookie to distract them ;) XXOO

Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Like Tammy, I didn't realise that was why there are no more Shakers! That was taking things a bit to extremes!

I think in today's world it can be very difficult to work out what is really simple and not at all simple to actually find it...


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