Simple, natural, plain

This covered passage at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA, was a refreshing encounter with simplicity. I took this photographed in August 2011, and looking at it, I can almost feel the soft breeze of Southern California.

This covered passage at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA, is a refreshing encounter with simplicity. Looking at this 2011 photo, I can almost feel the soft breeze of Southern California.

“Enjoy the simple, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work.”Benjamin Hoff

I love decoration.  From Baroque music to Victorian architecture to everyday frills and fancies, I am drawn to intricate patterns and abundant color.  I have to admit, though, that there is something very restful and soothing about simple design.  Our lives are so complex as to be overwhelming at times, and a clean, simple construction is a sensory antidote to the continual bombardment of stimuli.  Perhaps Hoff is onto something when he says our spontaneous thinking will be more effective when cleared of unnecessary distractions.

There are all kinds of ways to choose simplicity.  Instead of a packaged processed snack, try a piece of fruit, a boiled egg or a handful of nuts.  Drink chilled, purified water, and relish the way it quenches your thirst.  Try packing up some of your best-loved trinkets for a time; you’ll enjoy the cleared space, and when you get them out again, you will see them with fresh eyes.  Choose a worry-free hairdo or sensible, comfortable shoes.  Leave some wall space free of pictures. Listen to music produced by a single instrument, such as a piano, flute or harp.  Or sit outside and listen to the song of birds.

Today, I hope you will be calmed and refreshed by an encounter with something simple, natural, and plain.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below.


  1. Susan

    Julia, just reading this, along with the lovely photo, was very soothing ❤ . Thank you.

    • Thank you, Susan! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. LOL
    I always choose a worry-free hairdo!
    And even if that “messy-bun” type style does somehow go askance, oh well! These days, pretty much anything your hair does (including turning green from a chlorinated pool, or blue from some product meant to avoid brassiness) can be explained away by, “oh, I meant to do that!” 😉

    • Yes, it’s getting harder and harder to tell “intentional” from “frumpy” or “neglected” or even “disastrous mistake.” I guess where my own habits are concerned, that’s a good thing.

      • I can’t think of the last time I saw a “disastrous mistake,” but maybe I have, and didn’t know it! Consequently, you can be glad that I’m not your hairdresser! 😘

        • Many times, “disastrous mistakes” (like the concept of “enough”) are totally in the mind of the person making them. One person’s disastrous mistake might be another’s “Hey, COOL!” 😀 Having said that, one only has to look at the do’s and don’ts of fashions in many magazines, to see examples of what would be, in the eyes of at least 90% of people, at least a mistake, if not a disastrous one. But here’s one example of a disastrous mistake: wearing heels that are so high and uncomfortable that one trips, falls and injures oneself– in front of a lot of people one was presumably trying to impress. That hasn’t happened to me or anyone close to me, but I bet it has happened. Re: hair — maybe your point is well taken; perhaps there are no disastrous hair errors, only bad hair days.

          • Ouch! The high-heel-wearer in your example would bruise more than just her “dignity”!
            We are becoming so old and wise. 😘

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: