“And it was summer–warm, beautiful summer.”
Hans Christian Andersen

Making a household today often calls for being intentional. By being ‘intentional’ I mean making a conscious and regular effort to deliberate about how best to achieve an end. In an age when good customs embodied a passed-on wisdom, parents did not need to be so intentional about various aspects of the good life in the home. They could at least somewhat ‘go with the flow,’ as it were.

By and large it is not so today. One area where this is especially apparent is that of quality communal activities. As we enter the summer months it is worth considering what kind of activities are especially conducive to enhancing personal presence and personal relationships in the household.

The place of different kinds of work is one essential part of this consideration. But I am interested in focusing right now on recreational activities. Of course summer is a time when many of us go on vacation, which is comprised especially of such activities. But even apart from vacation as such, summer lends itself to more regular recreational activities, whether on a weekday or weekend.

Summer weather often invites our being outside and enjoying the natural world. Further, children tend to be free of academic concerns and to be looking for, and often needing something to engage them. It is a time to get out and finally do some of those things we tend to daydream about, and that children will later look back on, and remember fondly.

There is no set list of such activities. What is perhaps most important is that we nonetheless make a list for ourselves: so that we actually do them. And we can consider and weigh the activities, both from our own viewpoint and from that of our children. It is important that we all enjoy them; though at the same time we all can stand to develop and deepen our tastes.

Over the next few weeks I am going to offer a few examples of summer activities that might be worth special consideration: the kind that looking back we, and our children, will be especially glad we made the time to do.

Image: Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Boys in a Pasture

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

A New Attitude toward Tradition

A New Attitude toward Tradition

‘To participate in a tradition,’ ‘to be in a tradition’ means: to accept something handed down as a thing handed down. …anyone who carelessly rejects the external traditions or treats them with irony is doing something dangerous.” Josef Pieper, The Concept of...

read more
Thankful for When Children Were Young

Thankful for When Children Were Young

“..and perhaps it will be pleasing to have remembered these things one day.” Virgil, The Aeneid I have to admit it: it's been hard for me recently as I think back on when my children were younger. A few days ago my wife and I, and our eight year old son—who is seven...

read more
The Longing for Things Higher

The Longing for Things Higher

“After the sufferings of many years of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits introduced by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.”...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest