“ 'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free”. The Shaker hymn has always been dear to me; not least because its open-spaced and perfectly poised melody makes such a perfect fit with the spirit of the plain, graceful words.
Neither International Women's Day nor Ash Wednesday usually have any great significance for me, says Jill Segger. The Quaker belief that all days and times carry the sacred within them is usually sufficient. But this year, I am moved to consider it possible that I may have been mistaken.