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Seeing is Seeing

Seeing is Seeing

For not only that we might act, but even when we intend to do nothing, we prefer sight, as we may say, to all the other senses. Aristotle, Metaphysics This year the fireflies have been stunning. Last night my wife and I were mesmerized; we just sat and looked. And we...

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Delight Among the Oak Leaves

Delight Among the Oak Leaves

“When the cuckoo’s song is first heard among the oak leaves to the delight of mortals throughout the wide earth.” Hesiod, Works and Days VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT REFLECTION What brings delight to people, or not, can show much about those people. Here Hesiod writes...

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In Praise of Spring Cleaning

In Praise of Spring Cleaning

“Let’s decide on the appropriate place for everything.... This will enable us to know which of our belongings are safe and sound, and which are not, because the place itself will cry out for anything that’s not there; our eyes will spot anything that needs attention;...

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A Letter to a New Grandchild

A Letter to a New Grandchild

"Perfect love sometimes doesn't come until the first grandchild." Welsh Proverb Dear David, I am your Mommy’s father. She calls me Daddy, and I hope that you will call me Granddaddy. It is hard to know where to begin in what I’d like to say to you. This past Saturday,...

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Planting Radishes: A Place to Begin

Planting Radishes: A Place to Begin

“Agriculture isn’t like other skills, where the pupil has to spend an exhausting amount of time at his lessons before his work is of a high enough quality to earn him a living. No, agriculture isn’t awkward to learn like that: all you need is to watch people working...

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Remembering Spring

Remembering Spring

“Remember the time has come to plow again.” Hesiod, Works and Days Spring. It’s power never wanes. Once again we experience ourselves, especially in our bodies, as part of some great whole. Things are moving; and we are moved—though we might not know by what or to...

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What Fire Cannot Destroy

What Fire Cannot Destroy

“Those bygone workmen did not serve, they worked. They had an absolute honor, which is honor proper. … A tradition coming, springing from deep within the [French] race, a history, an absolute, an honor, demanded that this chair rung be well made. Every part of the...

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Presence Even in Absence: The Power of Friendship

Presence Even in Absence: The Power of Friendship

“…the absent are present, the poor are rich, the weak are strong, and—even more difficult—the dead are alive.” Cicero, On Friendship In our times the issue of presence deserves special attention. What constitutes real human presence? Too often, it seems, those who are...

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Seeking Harmony in Our Home

Seeking Harmony in Our Home

“When cordially united, a father and sons, or a family of brothers and sisters, may, in almost any state of life, set what is called misfortune at defiance.” William Cobbett, The Cottage Economy VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT WRITTEN REFLECTION: The other evening we sat...

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Does God Care?

Does God Care?

“What is more, the deity was not content to care for the body but, most important, also implanted in the human being the soul and made it dominant. …For is it not quite obvious to you that, in comparison with the other animals, humans live like gods, naturally...

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Living with Yourself

Living with Yourself

“And a virtuous man wishes to live with himself; for he does so with pleasure, since the memories of his past acts are delightful and his hopes for the future are good, and therefore pleasant. His mind is well stored too with subjects of contemplation.” Aristotle,...

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Might vs. Valor

Might vs. Valor

Phalinus, messenger from Persian King Artaxerxes, demands that the Persians (who had fought with Cyrus, now dead, against Artaxerxes) put down their arms. Xenophon responds: “Phalinus, at this moment, as you see for yourself, we have no other possessions save arms and...

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