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  • Betty Girardeau

It's The Simple Things


Do you ever think your life is just too cluttered, that there is just too much of everything? This year for many of us I think this feeling has been magnified. Certainly there has been too much sickness and dying. Since most of us have spent more days at home than usual, we probably have realized that maybe we have too much "stuff." And there has certainly been too much talk, as is typical in an election year, but which has intensified because of the divisions in our society. It can all seem to be just overwhelming. Our world seems upside down and many of the things that we have held dear in our beliefs have come into question. At this point we may be feeling a bit of "mental fatigue." What are we to do? Certainly there are no easy answers and I have no particular training in how to help people cope. But I do know what helps me. And they are just the simple things. I find peace and joy in something as simple as this silhouette of a tree against the early evening sky, for example. Had I not been waiting to make a turn onto the highway the other evening, I could easily have just sat and stared at this view until the darkening sky finally enveloped this tree totally. Natural silhouettes are wonderful things that can help to remind us of the palliative rewards of viewing our lives in more simple ways, to recognize the importance of simplicity. Interestingly, the use of the word "simplicity" in common parlance has been declining since the early 1900's, a time when cities and industry became central to the way most of us live and our lives started to become complicated. Leonardo daVinci described simplicity this way, it "is the ultimate in sophistication," a way of showing how beautiful things are when they are not lost in the details. Another writer suggests that an example of simplicity is "sitting in a lush meadow on a summer's day," a description not too dissimilar from my looking at natural silhouettes against the evening sky. Our natural environment is loaded with things that, if we take the time to look for and appreciate them, even for a few minutes, can help us to strip away some of our mental and emotional clutter so that we can ease that mental fatigue and find peace. See what you can find.

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