McBeth's blog

Waking Up to Our Duties

An annual summer tradition for our sons is to attend a family camp with their grandparents.  This was the first year that one of our sons participated in youth camp, which is for students in junior high through high school. Although I did not attend the camp, I personally felt the difference upon registration this past Sunday.

Bruised Too Often

“He had perhaps been bruised too often.  The peace of the vast aloof scrub had drawn him with the beneficence of its silence.  Something in him was raw and tender.  The touch of men was hurtful upon it, but the touch of the pines was healing.  Making a living came harder there, distances were troublesome in the buying of supplies and the marketing of crops.  But the clearing was peculiarly his own.  The wild animals seemed less predatory to him than people he had known.  The forays of bear and wolf and wild-cat and panther on stock were understandable, whic

Courage

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien recently enchanted my youngest son.  The fact that his older brother had read the book several times made this a milestone in my son’s mind.  He eagerly wanted to discuss his newly acquired knowledge of another world: Did you know there are four kinds of hobbits, mom?! and The name of the commonplace hobbits is Harfoot.

Building in Reality

I recently watched young kids build a dam in a stream that was dumping into the ocean.  They kept at it for at least an hour – stopping rogue leaks, expanding the mouth, raising the levels.  There was no particular reason for or meaning in building the dam that tranquil day: it was just “child’s play.” Or, so I thought.  Its significance took on deeper meaning by the fact that I happened to also be reading about the building of the Hoover Dam in The Emerald Mile, by Kevin Fedarko. 

Back to Art

This has been a particularly trying month for me.  When facing challenges, my default is to analyze, examine, and strategize.  But thinking is not always helpful.  This statement is practical heresy in my line of training.  Gladly, I have had just enough exposure to the power of artistic expression to deny the charge. 

(Of course, there is a lot of thinking that occurs in artistic expression.  But it does not take center stage the entire time, and…I am overthinking this.)

Gorging on the Fruits of an Ambleside Education

After studying early American history, including the American Revolution, this semester, it was an especially meaningful experience to visit Boston this past week as a family.  We were intrepid historians as we "braved the elements" in December.  We were rewarded with having the Freedom Trail, and other historical sites, largely to ourselves.  This allowed us to linger and savor, which we did.  The Nutcracker by the Boston Ballet enchanted us as well, and was especially alive to us after studying Tchaikovsky this semester.  At various times during the performance my ten -

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