Anchor: a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.
When we work to become the author of own family life, we take on the authority to provide our spouse and children and ourselves stability. An effective way to do this is through the use of rhythm. If you have small children, it takes time to build a family rhythm that encompasses the year. If you are homeschooling older children and also have younger children not ready for formal learning, the cycle of the year becomes the number one tool you have for family unity, for family identity, for stability.
I talked awhile ago about taking a large landscape piece of paper and dividing it into six blocks on the front and six blocks on the back – one for each month of the year. You can use this to write in special days for your family, things you want to bring during that month based upon the seasons where you live, and to make notes during that month that you want to remember for next year, such as when the fireflies come out or when the blueberries are ripe and ready to pick. This can be such a useful tool from year to year. You can see further posts about this method here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2013/05/14/the-mood-of-celebration/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2013/05/16/the-mood-of-celebrationpart-two/. Barbara Dewey and Melissa Nielsen have both written about using this method themselves. This is my way of using it.
I am working with Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie this month over at “Sketching It Out”. We are on week two of four in planning for the year, and one thing we have spent a good deal of time on is the picture of the year as a wheel, and how if we can see the big picture of the season (or in my case, the season of the Church), then we can bring an overall theme and mood and gesture to our home that transcends the one celebration here and one celebration there.
I like how author Vicki K Black says in her book “Welcome To The Church Year: An Introduction to the Seasons of the the Episcopal Church” writes:
Every year we cycle through the seasons from Advent through the Season after Pentecost, and with every repetition their meaning becomes more textured – richer, deeper, more subtle and complex. Sometimes a particular season will stand out for us in a given year and its message will take on fresh significance, while we will speed through another almost without noticing its passing. The repetition is the key to their gift of grace in our lives…the cycle of the repeating and overlapping cycles of the feasts and fasts of the church year create patterns of meaning in our lives, giving shape and direction to the events that mark our days.
What is going on in the cycle of year where you live?
What natural phenomenon is beautiful and wondrous this time of year?
If you have a religious practice, what is happening this time of year?
August in My Home:
In the cycle of the Anglican Communion, I think of this as the month of the Theotokos where we begin the month with a time of fasting that leads up to the Dormition of the Theotokos, sometimes also called Marymas in the Anglican Communion. Other important feasts are The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ on August 6th, St. Herman of Alaska on August 9th, Saint Bartholomew on August 24th, and Saint Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne on August 31st. These are our major feasts and then the Saint days that we feel close to for particular reasons; there are many days of Saints to pick from this month!
August in my area, for me, (and for two people in the same area it could be different!) is thunderstorms, hot, sticky, lake days, kayaking, the harvest, picnics, cold fruit smoothies, blackberries, work leading up to a new school year and harvest before fall. birthdays, school beginning
Other associations: yellow golden cloth for the nature table, harvest, art by Van Gogh or Millet, preserving and canning, suns in carrot slices, collecting nuts. harvest wreath from grains, boats and seas and water animals, summer tales
Here is to being the author of your family life,