Recently we visited The Waterloo Region Museum located in Kitchener. As part of the museum experience we explored The Doon Heritage Village. The Village is a recreation of life in rural Waterloo County during the year 1914. As a child I loved Pioneer Villages. Maybe because they made me feel like reality could be whatever I made it to be.
While at the Village this time, I admired and longed for the simplicity that seemed to be present. And yet I don’t think the people alive at that time would have said their lives were simple. After all they had to do most everything by hand, that I look to machines to do for me. Maybe it wasn’t simple, but it must have at least seemed like people were more of a priority. A kind of committed togetherness that a “me, myself, and my device” can’t compare to. The other thing I was struck by was how much clutter and mess I’m surrounded by. I know that part of this is because I live with an almost 4 year old monkey with hurricane like tendencies. But he’s not the only reason I feel trapped by my stuff.
I love the simplicity of lavender hanging upside down to dry. A beautiful and yet extremely useful decoration. How fitting that lavender has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, difficulty sleeping, nervousness, and restlessness. And glass jars, a water jug, and worn, weathered shoes that most certainly were not taken for granted.
One of my favourite books made into a movie is “Little Women.” Firstly, because it’s a “Christmas movie”:) And secondly because of the reasons above. They use tattered cloth ribbon and branches from outside to decorate. They write stories, create the March girls theatrical society, go to parties in old dresses, sell their hair to help support their family and share warm bread and butter on Christmas morning with a hungry family. Again, I know it’s idyllic. But I find it inspiring. Not necessarily the pain of sacrifice. But the joy that these sisters find in being together and in being generous with what they have.
I think it’s about time for me to give some things away, quiet the voice of complaint, give my little monkey a hug, and of course watch “Little Women.”