Homemaking, Inspiration

The Sweetest Things in Life

Child's Broom

Photo by Derek Gavey

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.

Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

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  • Reply carolyn friedman September 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    It is such an inspiration to see what help there is for new parents that feel they can’t make it through the day. Thank you for your good work and I look forward to reading your book

  • Reply carolyn friedman September 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I would like to purchase copies for all my parents

  • Reply Kim September 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Oh how I long for the day when I can really settle my stirring and find joy in sweeping…. :)

  • Reply Sarah Baldwin September 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Today can be that day, Kim. Just give the act of sweeping your full attention, if only for a moment. Enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your floor swept clean, and the feeling of a clean floor under your bare feet. Feel gratitude that your brain and muscles are able to work in harmony to allow you to move the broom. It takes but a moment.

    You can go right back to your hurried thoughts, but just for a moment see if you can find the sweetness in sweeping, or washing the dishes, setting a table or changing a child.

  • Reply Kim September 12, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Lovely reply, thanks Sarah. Your explanation is beautiful. I’ll give it a go..

  • Reply CAM September 12, 2010 at 2:35 am

    I love that quote….I’ve written it on some paper and stuck it on the wall….every time my husband feels blue about having an average job I’m going to get him to read it. For me it reminds me to dabble in domestic meditation more often. Thank you for putting it up.

  • Reply Sarah Baldwin September 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Here is another of my favorite quotes from Marcus Aurelius on the same theme, Cam. I would often read this in the morning when I had to get up in the dark on a cold winter morning to get ready to go to school to teach. Perhaps this would help your husband, too.

    I often think about the fact that society would cease to function if everyone in the world had a glamorous job. We fail to appreciate the millions of workers who live their lives in service to provide us all with our daily needs.

    “At daybreak, when you loathe the idea of having to leave your bed, have this thought ready in your mind: ‘I am rising for the work of man.’ Should I have misgivings about doing that for which I was born, and for the sake of which I came into this world? Is this the grand purpose of my existence-to lie here snug and warm underneath my blanket? Certainly it feels more pleasant. Was it for pleasure that you were made, and not for work, nor for effort? Look at the plants, sparrows, ants, spiders, and bees, all working busily away, each doing its part in welding an orderly Universe. So who are you to go against the bidding of Nature? Who are you to refuse man his share of the work?

    To live each day as though it were your last-never flustered, never lazy, never a false word-herein lies the perfection of character.”

  • Reply Nichole September 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Oh Sarah,

    I love both the Stevenson and Aurelius quote…So beautiful… and true. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply the sleepy time gal September 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    beautiful. i needed that today. balancing four young children sometimes seems totally impossible, and yet day after day i keep attempting it.

    • Reply Sarah September 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm

      And each day is a new beginning to try again, Nicole!

  • Reply fer September 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    thank you so much, this is just what I needed today! Love, Fernanda

  • Reply Jules September 15, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Well said! A beautiful reminder for the purpose of my days!

  • Reply wallpaper 3d April 22, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Such a lovely and beautiful quote. I like it so much.

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