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Tis a gift

I just have to say it, I love weddings.  Whether it’s a grand affair, or a simple ceremony, the hope and love, the promise of a bright future always touches my heart.  Sometimes, we aren’t too sure whether the wedding will result in a real marriage or not, one where both people give and take, where both do everything to make it work, and not just one that won’t last through the first life crisis.  And sometimes it is so evident that the ceremony we are witnessing is the true public expression of soul mates.   Yesterday, I had the honor of attending a wedding that was truly a blessing.  In the chapel of a monastery, high upon a hill, two people joined hands as the bells chimed and promised to love each other till the end of their days.  Part of the ceremony was a song called “Tis a Gift to be Simple”.  It was a reflection of how this couple has lived their lives, and how I try to remember to live mine.  The first verse that we sang is this:

“‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be fair – ‘Tis a gift to wake and breathe the morning air,  And every day to walk in the path that we choose, ‘Tis the gift we pray we never come to lose. When true simplicity is gained, To bow and  to bend we shan’t be ashamed To turn, turn will be our delight, ‘Til by turning, turning we come ’round right. ”

What does is mean to be simple?  What does it mean to be fair? Simple means that we don’t have to have a lot of physical trappings in order to be happy.  It means having gratitude for the things that we do have. It truly is a gift to have gratitude.  To be thankful that we wake, to be thankful that we can choose our path each and every day.  We can make the choice every day to be thankful for all that we have, or we can make the choice to concentrate on all that we don’t have.  We can think about all the ways we have been wronged, or we can think about all that is good in our lives. If we lose the gift of gratitude, we lose the gift of choice, for we will no longer be able to see that we have a choice.

Some days it is very hard to remember to be gentle and fair.  When we feel slights, when we have been wronged, when we are hurt beyond words, it is easy to see only our side.  Being fair means trying to look at the other side.  Not just in marriage, but with our children, our parents and siblings, in all our relationships.  It is a gift to others be able to be fair to them but it is more of a gift to ourselves.

When I look back on my life, it is the simplest things that have brought the most delight.  A walk in the woods with my husband, a glass of wine with a friend.  The curiosity of my grandchildren, a conversation with my sons.  A snuggle with a puppy, an afternoon with my dad, or a talk with my mom.  As the next verse of the song says, “Tis a gift to be loving, ’tis the best gift of all, like a quiet rain it blesses where it falls”.  And that’s what all of the simple things have in common, the gift of loving.  Not just being in love, but loving. To be able to “bow and bend and not be ashamed, to turn, turn will be our delight, ’til by turning, turning we come ’round right”.  It takes love, it take loving to admit we’ve made mistakes, we’ve been on the wrong path, or we’ve hurt others.  It takes loving to keep turning until we come around to the right path in life.  It is a gift.

That’s what the wedding reminded me of yesterday.  While it was clear that these two were in love, it was also clear that they were loving.  They have the greatest gift, and they bless us all.

 

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