Last night as I was tucking Madeline into bed, I pulled one of my favorite songs, an old Shaker hymn, back into the "bedtime rotation." It is difficult for me to make it through without tears, but that's the case for many songs on many nights. Madeline knows that her mother often cries "happy tears."
“’Tis a gift to be simple ‘Tis a gift to be free ‘Tis a 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.”
Last year I found a pretty little hand-sown hand towel that had the words "Live Simply" embroidered on it. I picked up two and sent one to my mother and one to my friend, Megan. My mom because she sang this song to me as a bedtime song for years - with tears. And Megan had just moved into a little apartment in downtown Baltimore with her new husband and started working a new job to help put him through dental school. (Now he's officially a DDS!)
I sent her the towel with this note, hoping it would be as good for her soul as it was for mine.
"I saw this sweet towel and began humming without even thinking. You and I have done an awful lot of turning the last couple of years. I hope this towel is a reminder to you that there is no shame in bowing and bending every which way. That it is okay to feel blown about and out of sorts. I hope it encourages you to know that it is by turning and turning (and turning) that we eventually come out right.
In the midst of all that spinning, our outsides will certainly get blown about - but something deep inside hunkers down. Like centripetal force. Our center anchors, and we are able to settle into the safe place deep in our souls that never bows or bends or shakes.
'When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the vale.'"
I hope that you, reader, are standing on solid ground tonight. And that you remember to live simply and freely.