Quieter Surroundings

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As an early birthday present, my mom took me out for a day trip. By accident we stumbled across a hole-in-the-wall shop called “Vintage Garden.” From the street I could see a teapot in the window, and that was enough to get me inside. We walked through the waist-high picket fence door into a pleasantly crowded world of potted flowers, soaps, bird cages and tea cups.

Vintage GardenDistressed tables, vanities and iron plant stands housed more treasures, and out the back door, a collection of garden decorations added their whimsy to the mix: pastel-colored bicycles; more iron plant stands, rusted over; wooden signs wishing visitors “Happy Trails.”

And the best part? The statues of geese and ducks that poked their beaks out from under tables, into soap dishes, and from behind chairs all over the shop. Now we’re speaking of geese!

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The ambience of the shop contrasted sharply with the streamlined hustle of our tech-entrenched society. It reminded me that in spite of all our advances, humans still hunger for a quieter surrounding, one that fills them with a sense of wonder and whimsy, one that can make them forget all their worries.

Mankind’s quest for peace will never end in a picture-perfect array of knick-knacks, because the atmosphere of serenity that things can create is short-lived at best. It is only when we submit ourselves to the Prince of Peace that we can find lasting rest for our souls. Only then will we be able to appreciate life’s little pleasures rightly: as loving gifts from our Lord.

Worth Repeating 4

Quote

Rather a long quote, but this poem is definitely worth repeating in full.

The Collar

by George Herbert

I struck the board, and cried, “No more;
                         I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.
          Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
          Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
    Before my tears did drown it.
      Is the year only lost to me?
          Have I no bays to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?
                  All wasted?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
            And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures: leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,
             Thy rope of sands,
Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable, to enforce and draw,
          And be thy law,
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
          Away! take heed;
          I will abroad.
Call in thy death’s-head there; tie up thy fears;
          He that forbears
         To suit and serve his need
          Deserves his load.”
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
          At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, Child!
          And I replied My Lord.