This post originally appeared on my blog in August of 2008. On this 4th of July, revisiting these sentiments of John Adams, which had such a profound effect on me almost three years ago–feels like a good thing to do.
Last night, Dan and I finished watching the HBO Films series John Adams. I think this last episode was my favorite. It was the only where I cried, but it was also so much about Abigail and John Adams reflecting on their lives as they reached the end of them.
In a final scene, John Adams is walking along a cornfield at dusk with his son, Thomas. His wife has died, all of his peers but Thomas Jefferson have passed away and this is what he has to stay:
Now my mother always said that I never delighted enough in the mundane, but now I find that if I look at even the smallest thing…my imagination begins to roam the Milky Way. Rejoice evermore. Rejoice Evermore! …REJOICE! EVERMORE! I wish that had always been in my heart and on my tongue. I am filled with an irresistible impulse to fall on my knees right here in admiration….If only my knees would bend like they used to. "
Must we reach the end of our days for us to find delight in the mundane? For our hearts to rejoice at all times? For the smallest flower to stir our imagination? I surely hope not.
Tonight, I noticed the cool breeze on my bare skin, a group of dark cattle grazing on the hill below the old stone church, my children running and falling and laughing in the grass with their father, a moment of quiet, just for me.
Those words of John Adams stirred something inside me. They once again reminded me to fill my heart and my days with thankfulness, hope, joy, curiosity. To take pleasure in the smallest flower, the most mundane tasks oftentimes repeated day after day after day. To notice. To not grow weary.
Life is full of so many pleasures.
11 comments on “rejoice evermore”
A beautiful post! Thank you for these words – always a good reminder! May your holiday be filled with happiness and joy today!
Thank you again for this. I remember reading it a few years ago. I just watched the series a few months ago and was so moved by it all. Have a wonderful day, Molly.
so true – i loved the series, too. have a great day enjoying the little things!
p.s. my 10 yo made your blueberry buckle yesterday for a potluck – it was OUTSTANDING!!! we ate it for breakfast this morning. and my sister has made it twice, as well!! thanks for the recipe!
what a striking post – thanks for sharing it again. I want to go look up that movie too. . .
Wonderful post! My husband and I loved the John Adams series.
Hi, Linda and Richard Eyre here. You may know us from our parenting book bestsellers or the blogs of our daughters…..or perhaps you have seen our weekly columns in the Deseret News.
But in any case, we know you. And we love your blog! Of all the “mommy blogs” out there, it is surprising how few actually focus on mothering and parenting. Yours is one of them, and you do it so well!
We have what we think is our best and most important parenting book ever coming out the first of September, and we would like to invite you to be part of our advisory board and help us craft (and disseminate) our message about the dangers of ENTITLEMENT! We feel that the entitlement attitudes of today’s kids are the biggest problem of their generation (and the biggest concern of parents throughout the world)!
The new book is called THE ENTITLEMENT TRAP: How to Rescue Your Child with a New Family System of Choosing, Earning, and Owning. It will be in stores in early September, but if enough people pre order it from Amazon.com and other on line outlets it could debut on the bestseller lists its first week, and that would cause thousands of other parents to be aware of it and to have access to a message we think parents desperately need.
So here’s the deal: If you are willing to work with and advise us on our board, we can send you a large pre publication sample of the book so that you can make your readers aware of it and give them a chance to order it at a pre-pub discount of more than 33%. And then we would want your ongoing input for the website http://www.EntitlementTrap.com which is now in its lead-up phase to the book, but which will continue to supply additional info and helps to moms long after the book is out. It will, of course, link to the blogs of all members of our board.
Take a look at that site and get a bit more idea of the nature of the book, and let us know as soon as possible if you will be an adviser. We will then send you the extensive excerpts so that you can blog about the book and about the movement prior to the book’s release.
Best, Linda and Richard Eyre
PS There will also be webinars and other exciting opportunities for those who pre order the book, and of course for you and other board members.
Lovely, thank you for reposting this.
Thank you for reminding me of that episode (and the series in general!)!! My husband and I honeymooned in Paris over New Years this year and took the series DVDs to watch again while we were battling jet lag. It was so moving to see the second time in a city that shares so much of our history of revolution. What a brilliant reminder to love what is right in front of us, right now.
What an interesting post, thanks so much for re-posting this and I think it’s wonderful!