Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tis a gift to be simple

The title comes from an old Shaker hymn,
'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 gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Probably my first introduction to living simply, aside from being raised by depression-era parents, was as a teenager, visiting the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Ky. It was a revelation that less stuff could make life more enjoyable and free the mind for pursuits other than acquiring, and then maintaining that which we acquire.  Shakers created beautiful furniture.  We've all had Shaker-style cabinets and chairs at one time or another, haven't we?  They did not procreate, thus the decline in Shakers.  And, they shook, or danced and spoke in tongues-early Holy Rollers.

But, I digress.  I've been following a new blog, To simplify and the title reminds me of that old hymn.  Not that he's living an Shaker life but on a scale of simple compared to most Americans, he's off the charts.  And he makes great music

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top of the World

We took a long weekend and headed to Fool Hollow in Show Low.  It's always a bit cooler up there and by this time of the year we have had it with the heat. Enough with the heat already! 

On Sunday we took a drive over Rte 260 to Heber since we had never traveled that road before.  As we were traveling we realized that 260 is the northern border of the area burned by the Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002 and the damage is still very evident.  It's coming back but it will take a long time to fully recover.

As we were driving along, I was looking around trying to imagine what the area might have looked like when fully involved, if that's the correct term.  I had this sense of actually being at the top of the world and it took me a minute to realize that I could see no mountains, no land higher than I was.  There aren't many places in Arizona that you can't see mountains or mesas that are higher than you are.