In the past few months, I have seen young friends, after anticipating their high school graduations for four years, resign themselves to virtually “walking” on Zoom. I have seen engaged couples, dreaming of their weddings for several decades, reluctantly decide to live-stream their services from an almost-empty church. I have seen a lawyer, having reached an ambition of his whole career—the opportunity to try a case before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals—disappointedly agree to a settlement by phone call.
When I remember childhood summer afternoons, I remember sun and water. Wet grass squelching between my toes as I skipped through sprinklers in the yard. Chalky sunblock on my shoulders, making water bead like pearls on my skin. Wrinkled fingers and waterlogged ears from countless hours in the pool. Barefoot galumphing through mountain streams, listening to the chatter of songbirds, gazing at golden sunlight streaming through leaves.
After placing a star atop our family’s Christmas tree a few days ago, I began to contemplate this ubiquitous symbol of the season: what exactly did the Magi see in the sky and why did it lead them to seek the “King of the Jews?”
Happily, my husband is in the midst of studying for an adult Bible class he is teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, so a dozen commentaries and books on the gospel of Matthew, where the account of the Wise Men is found, were at my disposal.
It has been about a decade since my husband and I pulled our seven year old son from the private school he was attending to homeschool him. Five years later, we placed him in the classical, Christian school he still attends.
Reading books like C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man and Josef Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture moved us to make such decisions.