"It's strange how the habit of saving has become part of our lives. Maybe some people still waste, but I don't personally know a soul, either country dweller or city, who has not a strong conscience about any kind of waste.
At Stillmeadow we never throw away anything. Literally. Except used tin cans, which I always wish we could convert somehow to something.
Any clothing we don't wear constantly goes to England or a refugee collection. Books and shoes and materials go to Piney Woods School in the South...Used curtains go to a friend in England, for she says the pride of a woman does suffer at hanging old sacking and frayed, mended rags at the windows. She has become a sort of curtain bureau for us and all our friends.
Then we raise all our vegetables and some small fruits, and freeze or can or preserve every extra bit so that our house, at least, is no drain on the national economy...
These lovely passages are in Stillmeadow Seasons, written 1950, by Gladys Taber. I have been wanting to read Gladys Taber for some time and just came across this sweet old copy in the downtown library a couple of weeks ago. Tonight, while Jupiter and Venus made their way toward each other in the sky, I sat out and enjoyed the last of June, forgot myself inside Taber's beautiful writing. I needed her common sense, her commitment to home and beauty, because I was feeling overwhelmed with the strident, angry voices out in the world, and feeling that anger and woundedness rise up in me again.
"It is good for us, I think, to keep as much joy in life as we can. We busy ourselves with so many things that are not of the heart and spirit. We worry about money, we agonize over the terrible state of the world, we fret..., we work, we argue, we squander our strength in a million ways. And all the time the wonder of life is around us...there is joy enough in one spring day to furnish forth the world, if we but knew it. Even if life seems too difficult at times and grief gets too intimate with us and death raises his umbrella between us and the sun, there is still joy to be had in the immeasurable gifts of life, if we accept it."
It's beautiful, isn't it?
A lovely tribute to Gladys Taber by Susan Branch can be found here.