She Makes a Desert and Calls It Peace

She Makes a Desert and Calls It Peace

One day when I had just vacuumed the living room and the floor was still cleared of all the usual clutter of toys and debris, Bella declared that it looked like a desert. I later found out that she liked it that way, it wasn’t meant as a pejorative. But I thought of that again this morning as I vacuumed. I’m making a desert. And then because Dom and I had been talking about the ancient Romans and military tactics over breakfast, suddenly I recalled the famous words of the Roman historian Tacitus: “they make a desert and call it peace.”

Oh yes, that speaks so perfectly to the great tension in my life: if the house is very clean, I’ve probably been ignoring the kids and their needs. So it may be desert-beautiful but if it stays that way then it isn’t a place that nourishes life. Life with kids is messy. That’s why the living room was in the state it was this morning, we’d been so busy all weekend I hadn’t had time to clean. Of course, if the house gets too messy then I’m also not very peaceful.

And that’s about the extent of my meditations on Tacitus and housework.

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  • Great way to start! This is why we homeschool…

    Oh, and school for this week for Belly will consist of some really cool Apple projects. If I can think of any… Actually, we’ll probably just draw circles on a piece of used computer paper, cut said paper into tiny pieces. And then vacuum. Maybe.

  • That looks like a lovely park through which to ramble. We home-educated, by the way: very rewarding for us all. I hope there’s a support group nearby for you and your children? It’s great to meet other like-minded people and get together for events. God bless.

  • What a perfect first day. May you have many more as free and as happy as this.  Looking forward to hearing all about it. (So I can homeschool vicariously;) !!! And still loving that baby of yours… too yummy!!

  • Lovely pictures as always!  And you’re doing a real service to other homeschoolers by modelling a laid-back approach to teaching little ones.

    The mystery shrub is a chokecherry tree/bush.  The berries are edible, but have a very astringent taste.  We made some terrible jelly one time.

  • Ok, trying again after my last attempt at a comment got eaten.

    Sharon, I’m not sure I even have a short answer to why I’m homeschooling. It would probably take a book. Maybe I’ll try to write a post on it, though I’m sure I’ve got something about it in my archives too.

    The School of the Air sounds fascinating.

    There’s a great Catholic homeschooling group in the area, except almost all the members live on the other side of Boston. So right now with the little ones it’s really hard for us to get to any of the activities, which are all about an hour away. I’d love to start a South Shore chapter.

    Simcha, thanks for the ID.