“Life is a series of tiny little miracles. Notice them.” ~ Unknown
Those Shakers loved symmetry, didn’t they? Stacy and I were talking more about Shakers today when she told me the northern Shakers disapproved of their Kentucky brethren. The houses were to be made of wood. Owing to a lack of lumber on the frontier, the Kentucky Shakers instead used brick and stone which were readily available. I feel a three little pigs story coming on.
Their architecture, though simple, was simply beautiful inside and out. There is something to be said for symmetry in this work. It draws you in and holds your attention. It’s like that in person, too, not just in the photographs.
I feel like I’ve got a renewed sense of who the Shakers were; a renewed place in my heart for what they achieved, what they were trying to do with their lives collectively. Their northern brethren accused them of eating too richly (too much butter they said), and frowned on their having trees, for the northern sect didn’t need the shade from the southern sun as the Pleasant Hill gang did. Seems to me a lot of life’s joys, not the extravagant things but just the simple things that have been given to us to enjoy like trees, is a bit stupid, for lack of a better word. Who in their right mind would be offended by a beautiful shade tree or a pone of cornbread slathered in homemade butter? Maybe my renewed love of the Shakers isn’t with the Shakers on the whole so much as for our Kentucky Shakers. The ones who ate butter, and rested under shade trees, and took in slaves that converted and shared with them the same as with each other. Maybe our Shakers were a little more compassionate, a little more thoughtful, a little more sane.