Monday, February 15, 2010

SUMMER IN THE SOUL, by Ruth in North Dakota (1933)

Howling blizzards sweep over the rolling brown fields; hours seem like days, all in one dreary monotone; the snow and cold send humanity shivering indoors. Such is life on the rolling prairies of North Dakota in winter.

Rural folk do not see their friends for weeks in succession. We find time hanging heavy on our hands, for we cannot afford the blessing of radio, magazines, papers, and books we would like.

What is there left to do? Books of the right sort are great companions. These we borrow from our state library. There is music, for we have a piano and all the family play and sing.

Lest we forget, we have made a poster of these words of Malcom McLeod and hung it where all may see:

"It is common things that quench thirst, not rare things; ordinaries, not luxuries; not palatial houses, but a home; not royal wine, but cold water; good health, kind friends, encouraging words, loving deeds, duty done, heartaches healed, a grasp, a clasp, a kiss, a smile, a song, a welcome--these are the beams that bring summer into the soul, and make us light-hearted, free and glad.

"Live simply then. Enjoy the present moment. Do the duty next to you. Speak the kind word waiting to be spoken. Do the kind deed tarrying to be done. Never will you pass this way more. Never will you be privileged to see this particular spot again. The next time you come by it will be different. Something will be added; something will be wanting; something will be changed. Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply; exact little; give much; sing often; pray always."