This is part 3 of several posts discussing Richard Foster’s chapter on Simplicity in Celebration of Discipline.
The flowers, the colors, the smells, the birds, the sun… It’s just good for the soul.
We’ve been talking about Richard Foster’s practical ways to simplify your life. And today we are skipping to #6 because this is an easy one: “Sixth, develop a deeper appreciation for the creation…Walk whenever you can. Listen to the birds. Enjoy the texture of the grass and leaves. Smell the flowers. Marvel in the rich colors everywhere. Simplicity means to discover once again that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.’ (Psalm 24:1)”
And when better to start this part of your new simpicity regimen than spring?
My back porch workshop is open for business again, and I was painting out there on Saturday morning. Painting is a quiet, lovely, simple activity, and I was enjoying the birds. In the two hours that it took me to paint the shelf boards for the built-in spice rack, I saw a flicker, a dove, robins, a red-winged blackbird, a phoebe, a female cardinal, mockingbirds, wrens, a starling, goldfinches, and a turkey. What joyful songs they were singing… I had stepped off the porch just to turn my face to the sun, when I heard a bird sing “Look here, look here. Tuweet, Tuweet. Over here, over here, Tuweet, Tuweet. Right here, right here. HaHaHaHaHaHa.”
I laughed just for the gloriousness of it. I was sure that mockingbird was teasing me. But just a few minutes later, I was back painting on the porch when I heard him singing the same song for his girlfriend. She turned her back to him, totally ignored him and soon flew away. He stopped singing; he may not have won his lady love, but he certainly entertained me.
Mr. H.C. could hardly wait to get on his tractor for the first time. He was spending a lot of time mowing, but I was busy and not paying attention to how long it was taking him to mow the grass. He finally came and found me and said with a grin, “Want to go walk around the estate?” If you knew what the “estate” looked like, you would laugh. Apple Hill is not exactly an English country cottage on manicured grounds. In fact, where the moles don’t live, these do:
But we have wanted to mow paths around the berry patch since last year, and Now Is The Time! So we walked around the newly mown paths, scoping out the possible berries, and discovered an apple tree that we couldn’t reach last fall because of the briers.
Under the dappled light of the apple tree the air was sweet from blossoms, the bees were humming, and the grass was trampled low from deer sleeping there.
We walked home clutching handfuls of wild chives and sticks of apple blossoms to add to the vase of lilacs in the kitchen.
How easy it is to be joyfully at peace on these glorious days of spring.