Thursday, September 18, 2008

Capacity for delight

"Still-life with grapes, flowers and shells"

I does not surprise me that a devout Quaker (someone accustomed to keeping silence) would have such a capacity for delight and appreciation:

I should express amongst my blessings how much I am enabled to take pleasure in the various beauties of nature, flowers, shells, etc., and what an entire liberty I feel to enjoy them . I look upon these things as sweet gifts and the power to enjoy them as a still sweeter. I am often astonished when my mind is so exceedingly occupied and my heart so deeply interested, how I can turn with my little children to these objects and enjoy them with as great a relish as any of them. I mention it as a renewed proof that the allowable pleasures of life, so far from losing their zest by having the time and mind much devoted to higher objects are only thereby rendered more delightful.

-- Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845)

Elizabeth Fry was a tireless worker for social justice - particularly regarding the humane treatment of prisoners. Somehow she managed to do this in addition to having eleven children.

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