In 1995, an author of books on Victorian living turned her personal gratitude journal into a “Daybook of Comfort and Joy” called Simple Abundance. In doing so, Sarah Ban Breathnach profoundly affected my life. She introduced me to the idea that everyday life is filled with lovely, enriching experiences in which I could revel; that the purpose of life is not to acquire the most stuff, but to find joy in authentically pleasurable living.
From her, I learned to appreciate a simple bouquet of zinnias, set on a small farm table, next to creamy winter squash glistening in the sun.
To find pleasure in watching a full moon reflect its light across the water, within the shadowy circles of the trees.
To relish eating sun ripened tomatoes from a local farm stand dressed with salt and freshly cracked pepper, or layered with freshly handmade mozzarella, topped by basil from the garden, and drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
This summer I made it my business to take advantage of the beautiful, fresh produce available at the local farm markets and neighborhood vegetable stands.
Such fresh goodness needs little embellishment.
I sautéed all the veggies I could find in olive oil seasoned with moist, fragrant garlic, just pulled out of the ground by my neighbor at the end of our street.
I have been reveling in the lovely colors and subtly different textures and tastes of fruits and vegetables.
Below I combined Sarah Ban Breathnach’s own explanation of Simple Abundance with photos of the Dan Terhune Farm Stand, here in Wyckoff, NJ. The owner, Chief Sokoly, kindly posed for a few pictures to help me show you just how abundant his farm is!
“At the heart of Simple Abundance is an authentic awakening, one that resonates within your soul: you already possess all you need to be genuinely happy
…invite Spirit to open up the eyes of your awareness to the abundance that is already yours
…These are the six threads of abundant living which, when woven together, produce a tapestry of contentment that wraps us in inner peace, well-being, happiness, and a sense of security.
First there is gratitude. When we do a mental and spiritual inventory of all that we have, we realize that we are very rich indeed.
Gratitude gives way to simplicity—the desire to clear out, pare down, and realize the essentials of what we need to live truly well.
Simplicity brings with it order, both internally and externally.
A sense of order brings us harmony.
Harmony provides us with the inner peace we need to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us each day.
And beauty opens us up to joy.
But just as with any beautiful, needlepoint tapestry, it is difficult to see where one stitch ends and another begins.
So it is with Simple Abundance.” —Sarah Ban Breathnach
Wishing you every blessing,