Complex Gifts

Here’s a simple gift:

‘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 ashamed,

To turn, turn will be our delight

Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Those are the words to a traditional Shaker melody, glorified here by Aaron Copland:

I like that it was originally a song, not a hymn, and contains dance instructions toward the end.

And so it goes, that when we read and listen, the gift grows deeper as it is received. Giving and receiving merge into a seamless, complex thing of wonder.

It’s simple: complex gifts are my preference.

2 thoughts on “Complex Gifts

  1. A beautiful song, and words. In days gone by, I think I would have been a Shaker!
    Thank you for your gift. It has instilled a bit more calm into my soul today. I must admit the Appalachians area is one I would like to visit. Those trilliums really make a show, don’t they!
    There is one Appalachian hymn I used to love to sing a cappella, when I used to sing in a group, ‘though the name escapes me. Gave me goosebumps every time; that’s how I knew it was doing me good.

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    1. I used to live in the Appalachians near the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. I do hope that you can visit. In Room with a View, Parts 3,4,5 I describe a journey to, beyond, and from a waterfall in that region. Thank you, sincerely! for your comment.

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