The Beauty of Summer Boredom

“There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, and evening full of the linnet’s wings.” -W.B. Yeats 

Summer has arrived in sumptuous glory and my girls and I thrill at every beam of sunlight. Thursday we cartwheeled across the green grass, jumped roped on the patio, and played hopscotch with homemade markers. Friday we worked in the garden catching bugs and everything creepy crawly for exploration. Saturday we hung breezy curtains and sold lemonade. And then it was Sunday.

“I’m bored,” Xani sighed as she rested in the patio rocking chair.

“What’s there to do?” Clover chimed next to her sister with an eye roll.

Lily sat on the sidewalk, inspecting a group of ants marching into a crack.

I pulled out my beloved Little Women book and read the following passage to my little threesome.

Jo was alone in the twilight, lying on the old sofa, looking at the fire, and thinking. It was her favorite way of spending the hour of dusk; no one disturbed her, and she used to lie there on Beth’s little red pillow, planning stories, dreaming dreams, or thinking tender thoughts of the sister who never seemed far away.

Charlotte Mason, a British educator and philosopher, borrowed a phrase of her time called “masterly inactivity.” She used this phrase referred to the time that must be allowed children (and grown-ups) to simply be. To ponder, to think, to dream, to make connections between literature and faith, between rolling hills and galaxies.

I mused at how often we wear our busy lives like feathers in our cap for each accomplished task. I said a silent prayer that my daughters would enjoy the luxury of being content with a simple sun bonnet. That they would wisely allow themselves long star-lit evenings dreaming on the patio. That they would understand that their happiness comes not from a collection of doings, but from being in the moment and acting from the heart.

I dream the same for all of you.


1 Comment

  1. Megan on 08/09 at

    You articulate exactly how I feel so often. It’s relieving and very reaffirming to know I have a kindred spirit:)

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