"The hours when the mind is absorbed in beauty are the only hours we live."
"Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) was an English nature writer, so I will assume that when he wrote this, he may have been referring to the beauty of this Earth. As someone who finds inspiration and perhaps even my spiritual bent rooted in nature, I would have to agree with him that spending time with nature is essential for humans. It gives us a way of connecting with ourselves, replenishing our spirits, and yes, absorbing the beauty and bounty of this planet. But Beauty can be found in many places, and it can be felt as well as seen. As homeschool parents, we are gifted with the ability to spend every moment of our day absorbed in beauty. Are you rolling your eyes at me? Indeed, I know our lives don’t always feel beautiful. But what if we change our perspective a little? What if we see it for what it really is?
The messy house is a testament to our artwork – the rearing of our children and the love we pour into our homes and families. How boring our children’s lives would be if they grew up in a home that had to be perfect and without the dog’s dusty paw prints on the floor or the clutter of books and unfinished projects.
And the mess is our children’s outpouring of artistic expression! Their toys, their scattered drawings, the matchbox cars that we trip on, and even the doll’s clothes crumbled up on the bedroom floor. These are their first works of imagination.
The noise is the beautiful sound of a family. Yes, sometimes even the yelling, the crying, and exasperated sighs. All of that mixes with the laughter, the music, and the endless questions of a child to create a home life. It is a full life, and it all has a purpose.
Look around you and find the beauty. Can you study it awhile, take a photograph, draw a picture, or record it in another way? Stand back, view a bigger picture of your life, and start seeing the beauty everywhere.
Feel free to leave a comment or image of your beautiful surroundings in the comments section.
SHELLI BOND PABIS is home | school | life magazine’s senior editor. She writes about her family’s homeschooling journey at www.mamaofletters.com.