Walking for Its Own Sake
July 12, 2017

“To walk because it is good for you warps the soul, just as it warps the soul for a man to talk for hire or because he think it his duty.” Hilaire Belloc Perhaps Belloc exaggerates—something to which he was prone. But it raises a great question: why should one walk? Walking […]

Sitting on the Porch
July 5, 2017

“I cannot separate it [watching the world go by] from the porch where it occurs. The action and the space are indivisible. The action is supported by this kind of space. The space supports this kind of action. The two form a unit, a pattern of events in space.” Christopher Alexander, The […]

Relating to a Deceased Parent
June 28, 2017

“It is natural that a father’s care for his son should endure to the end of his life.” Thomas Aquinas, SCG Bk III My mother is moving today from the house to which she and my father came over twenty-two years ago. I have been helping in the enormous job of packing, […]

What to Do This Summer
June 21, 2017

“And it was summer–warm, beautiful summer.” Hans Christian Andersen Making a household today often calls for being intentional. By being ‘intentional’ I mean making a conscious and regular effort to deliberate about how best to achieve an end. In an age when good customs embodied a passed-on wisdom, parents did not need […]

Playing in the Sand
June 7, 2017

“When I was down beside the sea A wooden spade they gave to me. To dig the sandy shore.” Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses They–whoever they were–clearly did this child a good turn. They brought him to a good place, and they gave him a good ‘toy’–if we call […]

Attentive Parenting, of Birds and Men
May 31, 2017

“Examples are found among certain species of birds whose young are not able to seek out food for themselves immediately after hatching. In fact, since a bird does not nourish its young with milk, made available by nature as it were, as occurs in the case of quadrupeds, but the bird must […]

Announcing Our Bethany Weekend
May 24, 2017

This August my wife and I are opening our home to offer a weekend getaway and workshop. It will be part study, part fellowship, part retreat. The theme is “Human Nature, Work, and Leisure.” Lectures, discussions, readings, and meals, surrounded by the other-worldly peace of our corner of the Shenandoah Valley. It […]

“One day it will please us to remember even this.” Virgil, The Aeneid Graduation is always poignant for me. It is especially so this year. This last weekend my eldest daughter graduated from Christendom College, where I am a professor of philosophy. I have taught her and her friends, among others, for […]

They’re Singing for You
May 10, 2017

“Nature does nothing in vain…” Aristotle It’s happening right outside our homes. The only question is: are we listening? The other day it was warm enough for me to sit outside for my morning quiet time. The symphony was simply amazing. Of course we cannot always stop and listen, since we often […]

When Your Livelihood Goes Up in Flames
May 3, 2017

Many events happen by chance, and events differing in importance; (now) if they turn out ill they crush and maim happiness; for they both bring pain with them and hinder many activities. Yet even in these nobility shines through, when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through insensibility to […]