‘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 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.
by Joseph Brackett
I have always loved that song. I can remember learning it in grade school, along with “My Country Tis of Thee” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhodie.” I love hearing the “Tis the Gift to Be Simple” song. The first two lines are my favorite. This is supposedly an old song written to be a dance tune (hence the “turning, turning” instructional lyrics) written by an Elder of the Shaker community.
I think of those first two lines as part of a reminder of two of the many things I am thankful for not only at this time of year, but all year round. And they are usually the simple things in life for which I am truly grateful. Like my eyesight and my hearing. These really are not “simple” things, but they are things many of us have and probably take for granted.
Once, when I was in my early twenties, I had a bright pink rose hanging on my bedroom mirror, along with a watercolored asian fan and a string of the blackest beads on my mother’s rosary. There were other little colored trinkets–yellow tickets from a concert, a brightly colored scarf. These were some of the things I treasured for whatever sentimental reasons, and that I kept out where I could see them on a daily basis to remind me of how good some things in life can be.
I remember waking up one morning in particular, and the sun was shining through my bedroom window, the rays of light pointing to my mirror where all my special things were hanging. I was so struck by the color of everything all at once. The bright pink of the rose, the green leaves, the yellow ticket, the colorful scarf… it was beautiful. I immediately gave thanks to God for the ability to see, for my eyes, for the way all the color He created brought me such joy just looking at it and the feeling it gave me–happiness, euphoria!
It was like that morning, everything seemed so intense in its color. It was all I could see about anything I looked at that day. Maybe that is why color is always the first thing that grabs me when I look at anything. And why fall is my favorite time of year–all that color.
So I am sharing with you some of the most recent images I took of fall this year. I almost missed getting some photos because we had a really cold and windy blast come through that took many of the leaves off the trees in a matter of a couple of days, instead of lingering for a couple of weeks or so. But I did manage to get a few, full of color and of joy.
What simple things in your life have you given thanks for lately? Let’s all be thankful for the seemingly simple things in life. Happy Thanksgiving!