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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Leisure and home life

    Abbotskerswell, Devon, England.  


What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like stars at night.
No time to turn at Beauty; glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

                                                -W.H Davies 

I read this poem in a wonderful book called "For the Family's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. It is about the value of home in everyone's life. I will share a few excerpts from the book below. 

    My little sister Lydia and I  

     Sarah, Lydia, Anna and I in Abilene, KS. We went there recently for a family reunion.

    In my mum's homeland, the lovely village of Abbotskerswell, in Devon, England. 

It is hard to write about home without either sounding pessimistic or too rosily romantic. There are always elements of both! "Good-enough homes" can be and are built by perfectly ordinary, everyday people. It is not a project for the exceptional. Home is the base for all of us- with our actual strengths and weaknesses. 
     The stability and sense of community a home gives is necessary not only for a child's well-being but also for persons of any age. Home is the comfortable base where we all belong. Because of its healing and nurturing quality, we can be creative without getting confused by unconnected changes leading to fragmentation. In fact, a sense of belonging and a home that is real actually enables the constructive change of personal growth and creative projects. 

(page 54. chapter 4. "For the Family's Sake." By Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)

      On my dad's side of the family, a bedroom in the farmhouse in Abilene, KS. It has been in the family for 5 generations! I am part of the 6th generation to have stayed there. 

Homes absorb immense amounts of time and energy. This effort is satisfying if one has a balanced schedule and can cover the essentials without too much stress. Essentials include the extras to the everyday round that is part of human life- the celebrations, reunions, disappointments, depressions, sicknesses, disasters.  Homes work best when someone is the contented keeper of the home life. Homemaker is a good description. It really is worth giving full attention to this vital fact.

(page 66. chapter 4. "For the Family's Sake." By Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)

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