Friday, September 28, 2012

A Recycling Web of Stories and Events

I firmly believe that we live in circles...cycles, if you will.

We are known to wallow in worry and forever live inside the witching hour when, in reality, nothing is happening today that has not happened before in history.

It's a cycle.

Like the seasons which blossom and live and wither and die, we live in an ever recycling web of stories and events.

Take for instance this quote my husband sent me the other day:

On May 23, 1857, in a letter to an American friend, Lord Thomas MacCauley wrote:

"A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship. From bondage to spiritual faith. From faith to great courage. From courage to liberty. From liberty to abundance. From abundance to complacency. From complacency to selfishness. From selfishness to apathy. From apathy to dependency. And from dependency back again into bondage."

Sounds familiar?

All we have to do is open the Bible to know that people have always lived in times of bondage, faith, courage, liberty, abundance, complacency, selfishness, apathy, dependency, and slavery.

Of course I hate to witness the selfishness. Of course I hate to live in the apathy and dependency era. I hate even more to think of seeing my children and grandchildren live in bondage.

But there have also been times of abundance. The fruit has been plentiful and we've been grateful. I was raised by parents who lived in lesser times and shared an awareness of this cycle with me throughout my whole life.

I live in awareness and reality; not fear. I live knowing there will once again be abundance.

An abundance of mercy if nothing earthly.

I know the fruit must burst and die. The seeds must furrow and lie dormant.

Annie and I are still reading those beloved Little House books. I grew up reading those books and they taught me well that simple life can be a life well-lived. It is also good to remember that Laura's life was born during the Reconstruction. Not a pleasant time in our country's history.

She writes about prairie fires and the government making them leave their farm in Kansas. She records grasshopper plagues and Ma chasing, smashing, and shoveling dead grasshoppers into the stove. She laments having to walk to church dressed in her Sunday dress that "the grasshoppers had spit tobacco-juice on." She is honest about crop losses and Pa's debt on the new house. She writes about illness and a blind sister. She writes about the heat! Laura passed away in 1957. Air-conditioning was one invention she never benefitted from.

"The weather was very hot. The thin, high sky was too hot to look aat. Air rose up in waves from the whole prairie, as it does from a hot stove. In the schoolhouse the children panted like lizards, and the sticky pine-juice dripped down the board walls."

And this is all before The Long Winter!

Yet we complain while sitting in our air-conditioned houses with five boxes of cereal in our pantry and all our plugged in gadgets to occupy our time.

We complain how hot the summer is and how bored we are and how expensive everything is. We complain because we take it all for granted.

Laura's generation never did. They lived during the cycle of "from faith to great courage...from courage to liberty...from liberty to abundance."

Families, despite social and political upheaval, lived their lives, taught their children, fixed their food, and loved their God...independent on government despite government's constant actions to control.

{Photo credit:}
I know it's never clearcut. I know all about Robin Hood and the medieval days and what brought our founding fathers to America. Every generation is running away from something or someone. I'm not saying it's perfect or easy. What I'm saying is nothing is clearcut...and it never was.

There are lessons we have to relearn. They are hard, disagreeable, often distasteful lessons to learn but relearn them we must in order to truly appreciate them.

Everywhere I click I see blogs planting seeds of simplicity...simple living, simple gardening, simple farming, simple means. I've soaked these special places up. I've read lots. But they are often unrealistic. They write with the hand of  21st century wealth and convenience. I've looked around at my own cottage under these cajun oaks and thought of how these times should be lived simply despite the abundance. I'm not sure I can yet it's a constant aim.

We are mentally molested by the news media and Internet clippings. Those things are not of God.  They trap us. They panic us. They worry us. They ensnare us. They cause us to lose focus.

Let's keep things simple, including our view of what's happening in the world at large.

Remember that in all days and ways, amist the heated furor of government politics, simple folk simply lived their lives, taught their children, fixed their food, and loved their God.


Surely it starts at home.

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