To Run Joyfully into the World

By Elsie Standing Kuhn

"I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen and keep your accounts on your thumbnail." --Henry David Thoreau

As a child, I thought
simplicity meant
doing without,
starting from scratch,
bare floors,
hard benches,
plain speech,
dull colors.

As I grow older, simplicity
becomes a question of:

how to live
on this planet
so that all
life can be

how to redesign what we
live in,
drive in,
dress in,
eat from,
throw away;

how to choose what we put into
our mouths,
the air,
the water,
our lawns to make them green;

how to quiet our minds, so we can
lift those who are falling,
deal with greed and fear,
envision community,
run joyfully into the world.

Elsie Kuhn (1937-2010) was a member of Iowa City Monthly Meeting.