Have you ever gone to the grocery store for milk and eggs and come home with a dozen bags, none of which contain milk and your eggs are crushed? Maybe those bags are full of good, useful, needed things, but you still have no milk and cracked eggs. This year we have added a great many good, useful, and even needed things to our homeschool, but somehow have managed to misplace our fine arts, which are as needful to us as eggs and milk.
When things go catawampus in our lives, it’s important to take a minute to see how the boat got tipped. (My metaphors are all over the place today, go with it.) It is especially important to look back at our first principles and see how the reality of our lives is or isn’t reflecting those first principles.
In our family, we seek to glorify God and reflect him in every area of life by pursuing what is good, what is true and what is beautiful. Studying and being immersed in fine arts–music, art, literature, nature, poetry, and song–are a large part of that pursuit. Unfortunately, like the missing milk and cracked eggs, they’ve gotten shoved aside these past few months.
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To be clear, some of the things that we’ve picked up are very important and even necessary things. It would be foolishness to switch out the toilet paper with the milk. You need to find room for both. But perhaps we don’t need the warehouse club, apocalyptic size toilet paper, and maybe we can find room for at least half a gallon of milk.
Despite the hectic schedule, we are all noticing the lack of fine arts in our lives. I haven’t found time to even do the “art in the background” things I usually do–put our artist on the television in slideshow format, have the music playing during the day, etc. And we certainly haven’t found time for nature walks or camping trips. Don’t even talk to me about Shakespeare.
I’m glad that the kids are noticing the absence, because it goes to show that even if I don’t think it’s sticking, it’s sticking. And I’m even (sort of) glad that we’ve had this experience in missing arts, absence making the heart grow fonder, as it were. Making our plans for next year (yes, I am already looking at next fall), I know that if we really want to pursue art and music, it can’t just be the carrot in the carrot cake, it has to be an actual serving on the plate. I’m not sure just how I’m going to make that work. Yet.