In Search of Simple Things

December 29, 2013 § 4 Comments

It happens to me every year.  So much becomes too much.

Too many decorations … cookies … even carols and televised Christmas “specials.”Image

Too much rich food, too many gifts, too much pressure to buy.

I’m over it, I realize with a stretched out longing for the simple. A meal of homemade bread and cheese. A fragrant soup, not a rich sauce.  A clear sideboard, an uncluttered mind.

“‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free …” wrote Shaker elder Joseph Brackett in 1848. The song, known then as a “quick dance,” goes:

” ‘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.”

As 2014 approaches, there’s a longing for the “place just right.” And I have a strong suspicion that true simplicity is the way to get there. Already, ways to declutter, organize, sort and divest sound attractive, rather than my usual acquire, pile up and collect. The Shakers danced to this song. And “coming down where we ought to be” I find to be a dance with intricate steps. Step back. Let go. Push forward. End.

Could it be that the way to more is through less?

(c) 2013 Inger Logelin

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