A Thanksgiving morn

Simple Gifts

‘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.

‘Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
‘Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we’ll all live together and we’ll all learn to say,

‘Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
‘Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of “me”,
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we’ll all live together with a love that is real.

The Earth is our mother and the fullness thereof,
Her streets, her slums, as well as stars above.
Salvation is here where we laugh, where we cry,
Where we seek and love, where we live and die.

When true liberty is found,
By fear and by hate we will no more be bound.
In love and in light we will find our new birth
And in peace and freedom, redeem the Earth.

‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be fair,
‘Tis a gift to wake and breathe the morning air.
And each day we walk on the path that we choose,
‘Tis a gift we pray we never shall lose.

Joseph Brackett (1882)
Shaker dancing song

Time to be peaceful

“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

tea

Friday morning music

A red brick heart, a cobblestone soul,
Meandering arteries and veins,
A backbone of good hardwood,
And lungs of pink, unstained.

Clear, clean skies that tantalize,
A crystal blue display,
Twinkling stars like eyes at night,
That hide away in the day..

Fingers reach out to the country,
They shyly beckon and seduce,
They lead to farmers’ roadside stands,
Selling veggies and fresh fruits.

There’s a rhythm to a small town,
A slow, care-free, easy beat,
All day long it plays its song,
Then at night lulls folks to sleep.

Bees buzz, and crickets chirp,
Old pick-up trucks shift gears,
Tiny songbirds can be heard,
And small baby’s coos and tears.

Train whistles blow both day and night,
As trains chug by the city hall,
The Local stops there twice a day,
The Express doesn’t stop at all.

No throughways nor freeways,
No Interstate through town,
Just quiet, simple, byways,
One barely hears a sound.

Small towns always wake at dawn,
Because they sleep so well at night,
Lullabied by nightingales,
Then waked by roosters at first light.

Not much variety,
Little change from day to day,
Small town dullness stays the same,
Never seems to go away.

The small town – a place of calm.
From the beginning to the end,
Room to stretch – room to spread,
Unlike piggies in a pen.

All one language and one tongue,
Folks speak easily to each other.
But petty tiffs sometimes cause rifts,
Between ever loving brothers.

No matter where one is … or isn’t,
There’s lots of room to spare,
And of the people who are near,
Most likely someone cares.

God and Satan do compete,
Though Satan seldom wins,
Small town folks know better,
They thumb their nose at him.

Relatives and family,
Busybodies, lovers, friends,
Living with each other
Knowing how to make amends.

The stillness and the quietness,
The boredom, the routine,
Anything and everything,
Either dies or is redeemed.

One can’t escape the small town,
Even when one packs and leaves,
It is embedded in one’s guts,
Like a lingering disease.

Ah, the small town – the sleepy small town,
A place to love and hate, you know,
People dream one day to leave it,
But it will never let them go.

~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis

small

Sunday morning music

“What would you do if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day,
(Are you sad because you’re on your own?)

No, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody
I need somebody to love
Could it be anybody
I want somebody to love.

Would you believe in a love at first sight
Yes, I’m certain that it happens all the time
What do you see when you turn out the light
I can’t tell you but I know it’s mine,

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody
I just need someone to love
Could it be anybody
I want somebody to love.”

~ Billy Shears