A Life of Leisure

It’s always difficult to slip back into normal routine after a week away. One week of vacation really just whets your appetite for more, doesn’t it? It takes almost a week before you’ve settled into the groove of relaxation, but it’s about that same time you need to start mentally preparing to return to life as usual!

I really wasn’t looking forward to the rush and dash of a school morning yesterday. After lazily drinking my coffee every morning last week, I didn’t like the thought of timelines and timetables. But I tried to suppress my bad attitude and just focus on doing the very next thing in front of me as the day went on.

Halfway through the morning I caught myself thinking how amazing it is that I get to spend my mornings immersed in learning, in big ideas and big events from across the ages. I mean, who gets to spend their morning reading about King Xerxes building a bridge across the Hellespont to invade Greece…and King John being forced by his nobles to sign the Magna Carta…and Mary I turning out to be just as selfish and cruel as her father Henry VIII and earning herself the nickname “Bloody Mary”…and MacBeth’s precarious mental state at the sight of Banquo’s ghost occupying his seat in the feasting hall…and Gepetto’s regret at fashioning a puppet who turned out to be such a source of heartache and hurt? And what about the last two lines of our Sara Teasdale poem at breakfast yesterday:

Oh who can tell the range of joy
Or set the bounds of beauty?

from “A Winter Blue Jay” by Sara Teasdale

What a lofty thought to step into my day with! Our school books cover a range of joy and beauty that makes me shake my head some days. I just want to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Do I really get to pass my days like this? It’s the ultimate escape into a world of stories and ideas…a world that can’t help but divert my thoughts away from my own insignificant problems and worries and complaints.

The Ghost of Banquo by Théodore Chassériau (1855)

I might have been feeling badly yesterday about being back home from our New Hampshire vacation, but during the course of the morning I was transported to Persia and Greece and the bleak moorlands of Scotland. I stood before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem with Peter and John. I was arrested and thrown into jail with Gepetto in Tuscany. I spent time in the Tower of London with Lady Jane Grey. And I even went on a bone-chilling adventure to Lapland with Gerda to rescue little Kay from the clutches of the Snow Queen.

Some of those adventures were true to history. Some were purely fantasy. But each one held truth of a higher sort…life-shaping ideas! And today I am realizing I live a “privileged” life! Yes, I work hard as a home educator. I take my job very seriously! But when I consider the benefits I enjoy and the living education our entire family gets to feast and grow on, I remember that this is, indeed, a privilege. I get to participate in the sort of life and education that, throughout much of history, was reserved only for the leisure class. There was a time when learning was a luxury only afforded by those who didn’t have to spend their days in back-breaking labour just to put food in their mouths. So I might have to steal sips of coffee this morning while I dance between subjects and students, but I’m going to count my blessings and enjoy this life of luxurious learning and “leisure”!

One thought on “A Life of Leisure

  1. I love this! I do relate as this is how I would do my days with my children as we navigated the different subjects. Such rich memories and treasured times together! Thank you for sharing the journey.


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