I was driving through town today, trying to avoid the tourist traffic. I scooted around on a back street when I saw something beautiful…a red house with a tin roof. Hedges all around it were trimmed. The porch had plants and white ladder-back chairs. It was a beautiful scene…but the most beautiful part was not the serene setting. It was a white-haired woman who was stooped with age. She slowly moved down the steps to the hydrangea bush. The blooms were a deep purple rather than the blue that I regularly see. It was the purple of royalty. The woman was picking the blooms to take them inside to enjoy. Simple really. An old woman picking flowers from her yard. Still, it caught my attention and one word worked its way into my heart. Simplicity.
I continued on my road until I came to the antique store that was my destination. I only browsed today, because I have no place for anything else in my house. Looking around that shop after my brief notice of the old woman, made me think. I saw so much of the past there. Things that the old woman could have told me stories about. Things that are obsolete now, that were crucial during her time…tools, glassware, clothes, pictures. All of them told a story of a simpler time. I took a while to walk through the store. I love to antique. The sense of history calls me, has always pulled me in. Today I was on my own with no commitments, so time was not hounding me. After a chat about old things with the lady in the shop, I headed out again. This time I wandered my way to the farmer’s market in town.
In our town, the Farmer’s Market is when local folks back their pick-ups into a gravel lot on the main street. They display their bounty on the tailgates, while tourists browse for fresh produce. It happens on Saturday mornings. Some weeks there are a ton of folks, others there are just a few. This week, I stopped off to search for some home grown tomatoes. While I was walking the loop, I saw an old man. (I also noticed a theme to my morning.) His face was raisin-like in its wrinkled state. He had on overalls and a ball cap that said something about tractors. The little bit of hair I could see was as white as the woman’s from earlier in my morning. He was just sitting on the tailgate beside his vegetables. There were others there with him, and it is my guess that he is not the grower, but the overseer… his body too old to do the harvesting anymore. I didn’t speak to him…just watched the pride in his eyes as people stopped to consider his crop.
Now whenever I see a theme developing in my day I take notice. God speaks to me that way. He draws my attention in a certain direction when he has something to tell me. Today the lesson was in simplicity. My generation has forgotten the simple things. We go 100 miles an hour…I am the most guilty of this. Always moving. But to watch two antique people, near the end of their lives most likely, just taking in the beauty of the day caught my attention. Flowers, vegetables, planting and harvesting. Simple things. They were just soaking in the moments they have left. The things they leave behind will be in that antique store someday. The stories of each item forgotten, but the spirit of the past will remain, calling to those of us who will listen. “Live each moment. Enjoy the days as if each is your last. Simplify.”

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