To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury;
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy not rich;
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds, to sage and babes,
with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasion, hurry never;
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
-William Henry Channing
\Anita gave this verse to her girls in the Christian Womanhood class one year. It’s been in my Bible ever since, because I like it so much. In a beautiful way, it portrays what a good, happy life should be.
I’m still pondering on it though, and wrestling with the line: elegance versus luxury and wealth versus riches. The contrasts seem so similar and I don’t grasp fully what it’s supposed to mean.
Channing uses his words carefully and beautifully.
To let the spiritual,unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
I try so hard
unbidden and unconscious, and wish for the mountaintop experiences grow up through the common.
That’s just plain ‘ole everyday life. No mountaintops there. Nothing sparkly or rose tinted.
Just the hum-drum of life. But it can be beautiful. And that makes me happy inside.