A Poem, and Opening Thoughts

I love this poem, and am currently memorizing it:

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter
by J. R. R. Tolkien

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.


So many thoughts about this little poem, but only time for two right now. First, it holds the hope of something better. Isn’t that the beautiful thing about poetry? Instead of an essay or a book to cheer others, only a handful of words, but the perfect words. Short enough to be memorized, and thus, always available when needed. Life has not been easy recently, it’s been very hard. Those two verses embody the hope I have, despite the fact that no one else believes in us. (And I’m not talking about hope in the government or some other person, I mean the hope that comes from God, and the hope that comes internally from small steps taken in the right direction.)

Second, this is what I want to give my children: deep roots and hope; wisdom and virtue, rooted in God. I want to show them they are never alone, to help them find faith in God. We are learning math and spelling, of course, but the main thing in our home and school is to grow as persons. To nourish the imagination and the soul, while training the will. I’ve been loving the Circe podcasts I’ve been able to listen too, and I keep thinking of truth, beauty, and virtue. On one of the lectures the speaker notes that “knowledge with power” is terrifying, instead we should pursue “wisdom with virtue”. The first stanza of the poem requires wisdom and virtue, mere knowledge and power are not enough. Self-doubt will rise, and no one is perfect, we all fail. But wisdom and virtue are rooted outside of self, springing from the love of God.

So this might not be a very practical homeschooling blog, and it might be move musings than plans, more philosophical than practical. I’m not promising to make sense, or to answer my own questions. But this is the start of a new journey for us, and a new direction. The time is right.

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