Adventures in Contentment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 136 pages of information about Adventures in Contentment.
is a slow process.  We often fail in our election of delegates to State conventions; we sometimes vote wrong in national affairs.  It is an easy thing to think school district; difficult, indeed, to think State or nation.  But we grow.  When we make mistakes, it is not because we are evil, but because we don’t know.  Once we get a clear understanding of the right or wrong of any question you can depend upon us—­absolutely—­to vote for what is right.  With more education we shall be able to think in larger and larger circles—­until we become, finally, really national in our interests and sympathies.  Whenever a man comes along who knows how simple we are, and how much we really want to do right, if we can be convinced that a thing is right—­who explains how the railroad question, for example, affects us in our intimate daily lives, what the rights and wrongs of it are, why, we can understand and do understand—­and we are ready to act.

It is easy to rally to a flag in times of excitement.  The patriotism of drums and marching regiments is cheap; blood is material and cheap; physical weariness and hunger are cheap.  But the struggle I speak of is not cheap.  It is dramatised by few symbols.  It deals with hidden spiritual qualities within the conscience of men.  Its heroes are yet unsung and unhonoured.  No combats in all the world’s history were ever fought so high upward in the spiritual air as these; and, surely, not for nothing!

And so, out of my experience both in city and country, I feel—­yes, I know—­that the real motive power of this democracy lies back in the little country neighbourhoods like ours where men gather in dim schoolhouses and practice the invisible patriotism of surrender and service.

XIV

THE HARVEST

“Oh, Universe, what thou wishest, I wish.”

—­Marcus Aurelius

I come to the end of these Adventures with a regret I can scarcely express.  I, at least, have enjoyed them.  I began setting them down with no thought of publication, but for my own enjoyment; the possibility of a book did not suggest itself until afterwards.  I have tried to relate the experiences of that secret, elusive, invisible life which in every man is so far more real, so far more important than his visible activities—­the real expression of a life much occupied in other employment.

When I first came to this farm, I came empty-handed.  I was the veritable pattern of the city-made failure.  I believed that life had nothing more in store for me.  I was worn out physically, mentally and, indeed, morally.  I had diligently planned for Success; and I had reaped defeat.  I came here without plans.  I plowed and harrowed and planted, expecting nothing.  In due time I began to reap.  And it has been a growing marvel to me, the diverse and unexpected crops that I have produced within these uneven acres of earth.  With sweat I planted corn, and I have here a crop not only of corn but of happiness and hope.  My tilled fields have miraculously sprung up to friends!

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Adventures in Contentment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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