“And out of this relationship (of husband and wife) the first thing to arise is the household…” Aristotle, Politics According to Aristotle, the household arises naturally. But even plants that grow naturally can be hindered, or destroyed, by adverse environmental conditions. When we are losing the human inheritance of our civilization, we […]

Trends for All
August 23, 2017

“Now trending: destructed denim.” JC Penney Advertisement “Everything about this farm-house was formerly the scene of plain manners and plentiful living.” William Cobbett, Rural Rides It’s hard not to notice the advertisements I receive in the mail. It’s also hard not to be discouraged by them. Images are extremely powerful. Though at […]

In Search of the Household
August 16, 2017

What will it take to rediscover the ancient reality of the household? In the latest issue of Humanum I raise some difficult questions. Here is the article: “In Search of the Household.”

The Time to Go to School
August 9, 2017

“And the final outcome of education, I suppose we’d say, is a single newly finished person, who is either good or the opposite.” Plato, Republic Thinking about education is one of the most central and thorny of questions for parents. This time of year is usually a time of change and of […]

Planting Now for Later
August 2, 2017

“He who postpones wrestles with ruin.” Hesiod, Works and Days One of the profound aspects of our relationship with the earth, and with one another, is timing. There are natural rhythms, to which we need to learn to conform ourselves. Isn’t one of the hardest things with children to teach them that […]

Playing Games with Children
July 26, 2017

“But when children play the right games from the beginning… it follows them in everything…” Socrates, in Plato’s Republic The question broke through the pleasant fog of dozing off on the couch on a Sunday afternoon. “Daddy, do you want to play statue?” “Uh. Well. What’s ‘statue’?” I was buying time; though […]

Summer Reading Aloud, Together
July 19, 2017

“We read to know that we’re not alone.” –attributed to C.S. Lewis; actually from Shadowlands, a movie about Lewis. While there is something attractive about this quotation, I’m glad that Lewis didn’t actually say it. While reading can indeed be a wonderful way of communing with others, especially those of past generations, […]

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, […]