The goodness of a well-loved walking path…
When I attended the University of Richmond, I walked around the beautiful Westhampton Lake almost every day. Sometimes, I’d walk by myself listening to music or sermons. Sometimes I’d run, while thinking or praying. Sometimes I’d walk with friends, talking, laughing, or crying together, sometimes singing.
I thought we had traced that path so many times that the earth would wear thin and the lake would suddenly fall through. But, it never did. Instead, it strengthened me each time I made my rounds. That walking path – the loveliness of the water, the trees, the sky – became a part of me… and the round and round about-ness did me good.
We all need a well-loved soul path, too…
I’ve decided to create an internal “walking path” for our children: a path of poems, hymns, and scripture that we can store in our hearts and minds, repeating them round and round again. This path will mark the terrain of what we speak, sing, and think about together over the years. I’m hoping that as we repeat these words around the table, in the car, upon our pillows, they will never wear thin, but rather deepen our affection for beauty and truth.
The plan to build a path for the soul…
The path is 12 poems, hymns, and Scripture passages that I want our children to have well-established in their heart-of-hearts by the time they graduate from our homeschool. Every month, we’ll review one of each during our Morning Time.
In a year’s time, we’ll cycle through all 12 poems, hymns, and Scriptures. My dream is that the following year, we’ll walk about the same path again. And the year after that, and the year after that… etching, savoring, and treasuring this goodness in our minds.
For now, I’m simply printing each one out as we need it, slipping it into a plastic sleeve, and filing it in our morning binders. I’m daydreaming about having them printed in a hardback book for each graduating child.
It will be something to to take down and slowly read and dream over the years.
- Jabberwocky – Carroll (To imagine! To triumph!)
- Custard the Dragon – Nash (To have a story on hand to tell a child.)
- If – Kipling (To persevere through labor and every difficult task.)
- The Gettysburg Address (To honor the people who sacrifice on our behalf.)
- Shakespeare Sonnet 116 (To better understand love.)
- The Apostles Creed (To join our voices with the saints of old.)
- Shakespeare Sonnet 29 (To wrestle down the jealous, discontent soul.)
- On His Blindness – Milton (To rest in God’s grace.)
- Sonnet 43 (“How Do I Love Thee?”) – Browning (To better understand love, that baffling mystery.)
- The Charge of the Light Brigade – Tennyson (To charge into literature and charge home with valor in our hearts!)
- God’s Grandeur – Hopkins (To murmur words when the beauty of the earth would otherwise render us speechless.)
- In Memoriam (Ring Out, Wild Bells) – Tennyson (To say with hutzpah when the year is ending and a new one is around the bend.)
- In Christ Alone
- He Will Hold Me Fast
- Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God
- Be Thou My Vision
- Before the Throne of God Above
- Be Still My Soul
- Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
- This is My Father’s World
- My Heart is Filled With Thankfulness
- Compassion Hymn
- My Worth is Not in What I Own
- Fairest Lord Jesus
12 Passages of Scripture
- Psalm 23, The Lord’s Prayer (for prayer…)
- Romans Road/ John 3:16 (for salvation…)
- Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 3: 1-13 (for womanliness and manliness…)
- Hebrews 11 (for heroes and friends…)
- Matthew 5 (for a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven…)
- 1 Corinthians 13 (for love…)
- Psalm 91 (for peace…)
- Psalm 51 (for repentance…)
- Romans 8 (for security…)
- Romans 12 (for relationships…)
- Deuteronomy 5:6-21, 6: 4-9 (for holiness and gratitude…)
- Psalm 139 (for faith-as-a-child…)
What would you include in your internal “walking” path?