Simplicity is a Virtue

It takes nothing more but a tranquil day spent outdoors to reaffirm my appreciation of simplicity. Generally my life is overcrowded with busyness: plans, work, constantly moving from one task to the next without ever really enjoying a moment. I’ve always been one for speed, and regrettably I’ve too often found myself “getting things done” than doing things. But with a day wide open in front of me, that sense of accomplishment I too often seek comes naturally and easily. When I find myself without plans, I take to the outdoors (Michigan weather permitting) and absorb the marvel of nature. It’s not like I live in Appalachia or anything. It’s less about having the best, most exciting whereabouts and more about making my whereabouts exciting. But I also learn to accept that many exciting events and places are not yet within my grasp. And that’s okay. I love what I have, and I make the most of it as much as I can. I could go on and on about my adoration of nature and the intellect it inspires (see: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature) but my true point here is that we don’t really need much to be happy. On these tranquil days a run energizes me, my vegan cooking empowers me, and my time with loved ones entertain me. I have an hour to spend with a good book, and there’s no rush to finish anything. I accomplish what comes to me; my idle mind tackles what really matters and I feel accomplished without feeling pressured to be. I have meaningful conversations with my family, and I remember that I shouldn’t ever push them aside for other things. Of course life is filled with so much more than books and talks and smoothies and bike rides and watching the sunset, but we can’t forget how much we enjoy these simple things. Now a college freshman, I know I have not yet realized how much my life will change. My “overloaded” now will seem like nothing to college me, as will my roughest nights in college seem to my career-woman-self years down the road. But no matter how busy I get, I vow to always have a few days like this. We need not be constantly bombarded with the modern world’s motto of more, more, more. We need not plague ourselves with anxiety and pressure to tackle our ever-growing task list. We need not conform to others’ ideas of an ideal life. There’s so much bliss to be found in the unknown adventures of the everyday. We must recognize our simple joys, and work to amplify them as much as possible. When we leave ourselves alone to our thoughts, we can rediscover our true goals and take some time to appreciate what is getting us there. One truly needs very little to live, and if we have all those things and more, how unhappy could we possibly get? I want to enjoy my moments, and not allow myself to feel rushed all the time. Funny thing is, when you slow life down for a bit and focus on what really matters, there’s actually much more exhilaration to be found.

She did not need much, wanted very little. a kind word, sincerity, fresh air, clean water, a garden, kisses, books to read, sheltering arms, a cozy bed and to love and be loved in return. Starra Neely Blade


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