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  • Writer's pictureAusten Hayes

The Simple four

Updated: Mar 23







- click photos to expand -

great grandfather's calling card, late 1800's London


a run of magnificent sheep at Dover's Hill, above the village of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, UK


a hand made ladder found in a barn on a farm i once owned


what remains of a plantation outside the city of Charleston, SC, where slaves lived and worked and died - and now rest


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers." ~ Voltaire



Why are we here? What, really, is our purpose? Are we to live without explanation, soothed only by the need for persistence and the demands of change? Are we a part of some mysterious mission, designed to carry the burdens and joys of developing language, making tools, turning caves into skyscrapers and steel into wings, never satisfied, teased into the darkness of the yet to be discovered?


Are we here to make war, or to practice goodness and create beauty? We ponder and wobble, undecided and unsure, hoping for the best in the choosing.


What will explain the shape of my hands, the familiar up-and-down motion in my stride, the timbre in my voice? I recognize these shapes and energies as having belonged to others I've known, amazed as I see them copied and passed on to those who follow. There's comfort in this chain of timelessness, but also fear knowing the limitations imposed by the size of a single link.


I'm led by fears to order, unwinding and unraveling as I do into the safety of control and simplicity. Closets made neat. Cars washed. Steps and statements and years added and added again. I do what I can to hold on. I allow for this, telling myself this too counts. Nothing is ordinary.


Fear reminds me to not wait for answers, to accept impermanence and make the best of what's given in this short time. I must not to fail to notice the spectacular - my pup's smile when she knows I understand, the 1,000 squawking crows I saw flying in the sky last evening, the youth of morning air, the soup I'll prepare this afternoon, the next thing learned, the swooping-in of a new idea, the raindrops I'm told will fall while the soup simmers. Limitation tells me to pay attention to sense and sight and sincerity. It reminds, when faced with choice, I should do the right thing.


As my hands keep order, my mind remembers. I wonder about the woman who showed up at my door a few nights ago carrying a box of chocolate-covered fruit. Her name was Eileen. She earns a "little extra" making deliveries - a woman of no less than 80 smiling broadly through ringlets of wild blonde hair, dressed in a snug-fitting pink-all-over outfit, teetering on the highest of high-heels. It was after dark when she came. Too dark. And, when she handed me a red box topped with a pink bow, I got it. This was more than a delivery, it was the passing on of joy. The outfit had to be right for the occasion - and it was. And, her mission would be a success if I could feel the joy - and I did. But, not without a big dose of sadness for this person standing in the dark in need of a "little extra".


Today will be like other days - more that's predictable, the why left unknown. But, it's o.k. I'm grateful for this chance to be a part of the mystery. The questions are too big, and I'm too small, as are the things that keep me occupied. I'll do what I can to engage them in reverence.


As telephone numbers are these days, Eileen's was left behind when she texted me to let me know she was coming. Today I'll call to thank her for taking care of people like me. My questions may never be answered, but If she knows she made a difference in a world that too often fails to notice, perhaps this call will help solve the mystery of her own.


ah


Thank you for visiting The Simple.



The Book

"What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do: Finding You in The Simple"


Simplicity, Nature and Common Sense



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Guest
Mar 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Such beautiful pictures and beautiful words... thank you for sharing and please continue your gift of writing which leads to perspective and contemplation.

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Guest
Mar 23
Replying to

Thank you...I don't have an email address/name...so not sure who wrote this....? Would love to thank you more personally!

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Guest
Mar 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Lovely words that make pictures in my mind. Mr Albin would be proud of your creative writing.


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Austen Hayes
Austen Hayes
Mar 23
Replying to

Mr. Albin? I don't see your name...would you please tell me who you are? Thank you kindly for your comment...I do appreciate it!

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