Do you know the song "Simple Gifts," written by Shaker elder Joseph Brackett in the mid-nineteenth century? It's made rounds as standalone music, became famous from its major part in Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring ballet score and symphonic landscape. The tune later assumed new life in Sydney Carter's "Lord of the Dance" that summarized Jesus' life from pre-existent Word through ascension.
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where I ought to be;
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
Before considering a simple trajectory, I searched my iMac for farm because as complex and sophisticated farming has become, as much experience and intuition farmers always have needed for their land to yield quality crops, agriculture retains a sense of basics, an aura of simplicity, the reality of no value added—at least at harvest.
You well may love to snack on berries, fruit, or tomatoes whilst tending your backyard garden, but a lot of what the ground yields can't realistically be eaten as is. Minimally it needs to be washed, often cooked. Grains need to be dried, threshed, milled. You need to assemble and probably dress a salad; sauté, roast, or stir-fry veggies; combine ingredients before baking your classic bread, yet all those end products happen because of simple, untreated basics that come from the valley of love and delight. Right?
There's nothing wrong or amiss with my simple original ink on paper farm drawing, but like some newly harvested grains, fruits, or veggies, despite being a good start, it's not ready for literal consumption. You know what else? There's nothing more glorious than simple fresh-picked berries or sunstruck tomatoes. What are your favorites?