Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule

When I saw this book on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. I read and love the author's blog SouleMama. Just like her other two books, it was an enjoyable read. The author lives a very idyllic life in Maine. I wish I could go stay with them for a month. I could get reacquainted with sewing and learn to knit.

Many of the projects and activities explored in the book aren't feasible for me right now, given my knowledge and where I live. That's okay. I will take what I can from the book, and try to make small changes to slow down the rhythm of my family.

On a child's work: "And suddenly this time- thankfully, this time- I look back to her playing and it becomes clear. I see the fact that I nearly forgot in the details of my day, perhaps the most important thing to remember of all on these busy days of family life: Her work is to play. It is the most important work my little ones can be doing."

One project I'm going to try is to write a manifesto for each season. She displayed their winter manifesto and it contained things like make stuff, follow the sun wherever you find it, and "get out of Dodge." I have made a summer checklist before, but I think this would be more meaningful and less stressful.

Her husband says "The spirit of my own children reminds me to keep alive that spark of inquisitive learning and constant probing into the unknown." To go along with this idea, they have an "I Wonder Why" board in their kitchen where the family can tack a question onto a little cork board. I think that's a wonderful idea... especially when the "why" questions seem never-ending.

I also got excited about hikes, picnics, baking everyday oat bread (note: copy the recipe before the galley expires), and trying to be more mindful even if that means some things don't get done. And lest I get down on myself:

"The reality is that none of us are super heroes, and that incorporating creativity, slow and mindful living, and seasonal celebration into our daily lives takes practice."

Thanks to netGalley and Shambhala for the advance copy.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful perspective on life! Thanks for sharing this book and SouleMama's website.