'Tis the joy to be simple,
'tis the joy to be free,
'tis the joy to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight
This is an excerpt from an old Shaker hymn. I love visiting "Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill" just south of Lexington, Kentucky. The Shaker's had some strange beliefs but they were way ahead of their time in simplicity and innovation. At a time when the local folks lived in log cabins with dirt floors the Shakers had brick three story homes with wooden floors and beautiful, artistic staircases.
They raised vegetables not only for sustenance but for the seed. They packaged and sold seeds and were famous for it. They were innovators in farm tools and farming techniques. They were also celibate which explains why the Shaker movement died out.
One of my favorite trips was with my cousins to Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. We stayed on the property in one of the original buildings. The furniture is very simple in style with straight lines. There are few amenities in the rooms and the wooden floors creak with every step. The bathroom was definitely bare bones as well. The food was fabulous, served family style and accompanied by hot biscuits and cornbread slathered with fresh butter. Most of the vegetables were grown there at Shaker Village and included an array of pickles, jellies and jams.
We enjoyed the visit so much we stayed for a reenactment of one the Shaker worship services followed by a quiet, serene ride on a paddle boat down the Kentucky River.
I long to go back to Kentucky this time of year. I can just picture the deep green leaves, the blue grass and a big table full of mouth watering fresh vegetables and pickles.
God bless the volunteers who work so hard to preserve the Shaker Village. Amen
Here's a link if you're interested in more information: www.shakervillageky.org
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