Mine just arrived today, I read the first couple pages and am clearly going to love it. But it’s gotta wait, because I am actually, legitimately pre-reading (AO Y2) for the first time ever!
This is totally random, but I thought this passage from the Handbook of Nature Study was delightful. It made me think of Wendell Berry:
The ideal farmer is not the man who by hazard and chance succeeds; he is the man who loves his farm and all that surrounds it because he is awake to the beauty as well as to the wonders which are there; he is the man who understands as far as may be the great forces of nature which are at work around him, and therefore he is able to make them work for him. For what is agriculture save a diversion of natural forces for the benefit of man! The farmer who knows these forces only when restricted to his paltry crops, and has no idea of their larger application, is no more efficient as a farmer than a man who knew only how to start and stop an engine would be as an engineer.
In order to appreciate truly his farm, the farmer must needs begin as a child with nature-study; in order to be successful and make the farm pay, he must needs continue in nature-study; and to make his declining years happy, content, full of wide sympathies and profitable thought, he must needs conclude with nature study; for nature-study is the alphabet of agriculture and no word in that great vocation may be spelled without it.
Love it. I was very moved by the way Anna Botsford Comstock makes a case for nature study as training in truth-finding. We practice observing reality, accepting it for what it is and no more, and in that way become accustomed to allowing the universe to hold its Truth, whether or not it makes sense or feels good to us. Quite old-fashioned, really!
I just received my copy of Mere Motherhood yesterday! I really haven’t looked at it yet but am SO excited to read it. We are camping this weekend with some fellow homeschooling friends that we haven’t seen in over a year (they moved to Seattle!) so I’m hoping to maybe have some time to dive in and get to share it with her. I don’t know if she is familiar with Cindy but I’m sure the book will resonate with her!
So many good things in my commonplace this month…but I think this one has been echoing around in my mind the most…from The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer (which I’m reading since I’m following along with my oldest son in AO y7!) This book has been such a blessing to me!
“Now, if faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and poorest of us.”
And also these song lyrics from an older “Enter the Worship Circle” album. Somehow this song just really spoke to me this past month.
I’m too proud to ask
Too broke to eat
Too weak to bow
Too strong to bleed
Can you sing over me words of comfort
Can you satisfy me, sweet honey?
Can you break through me with your strong hands
Can you undo me enough to heal me?
You take the weight from my shoulders
My hands were clenched, now they’re open
I’ll take your goodness, poured from the sky
Food from the ravens, water from the dry well.
I will share two quotes from last month. The first one is from Anna Karenina. The author is referring to Kitty, “But although she seemed like a butterfly just settled on a blade of grass and ready at any moment to flutter and spread its rainbow wings, her heart was crushed with terrible despair.”
From The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris–“We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were.”
It’s hard to choose just one quote from Mere Motherhood, but here goes:
Josef Pieper tells us that leisure is the basis of culture. Most moms would laugh at the idea of leisure, but that is essentially the gift homeschooling gave us — the leisure to learn. Homeschooling moms are what remains of the leisured classes in these hurried, frantic days. We are the Irish monks of our time, carefully preserving old library books (and even reading them).
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