A Canadian acquaintance noted this week that Canada Day is technically a celebration of dependence as opposed to the United States celebration of independence. I found that interesting. We’ve got two young countries growing up next door to each other (and let’s be honest, we’re still just barely children on the world stage), and like any set of children, two very different personalities and natural bents.
So whether you’re happily dependent or happily independent (or unhappily either), or you’re from some other land and looking at the two scallywags that make up most of North America and blessing your stars (and stripes and maple leaves) that you’re not from here, may you celebrate the start of this July with joy!
Around the Web
4 Beautiful Things That Can Happen When Life Doesn’t Go How We Planned
I’ve seen more than one meme that’s made note that 2020 is not really going as planned. My sister has a little plaque she hangs in her kitchen that says, “We plan. God laughs.” I think he does–not derisively, but in a gentle chuckle that says, “Oh, beloved. I want to teach you this way.”
- “This is not how my life was supposed to go.” Every person has had this thought at least once in their life.
We have a plan of what we think our life will look like, but life throws us a curveball that changes everything.
What to Read: Children’s Books About the Ocean
Whether you can make it to a beach or just want to learn about the ocean this summer, here are some great picture books for your family.
- Studying the ocean with your kids? Maybe you’re planning your next family trip to the beach. Either way, you’ll want to add these books about the ocean to your read aloud pile.
“The Readiness is All” – Hamlet and Viruses
Grief and loss have filled this season and they are more complex and challenging by the limitations we face. I found Katie Patton’s meditation on death (and Hamlet) to be encouraging as I navigate my own understanding of death and talk with the kids in my life about theirs.
- Hamlet is a play that ponders, among other things, the human urge to direct. In the context of a play, a director has the power to lead and guide the actors to fulfill his vision. A play within the play, commissioned by the Danish Prince, is a central catalyst of the plot (“The play’s the thing/Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king”). Many of the characters also embody the act of directing in the ways they attempt to instruct and control others: the ghost directs Hamlet; Hamlet directs his actors; Polonius gives instruction to whomever will listen; Claudius attempts to manipulate by directing Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, etc.
Summer of Faerie: “King Midas Chased Me This Morning” and “Summer of Invisible Dragons”
Another entry into the Summer of Faerie series, Rachel S. Donahue’s poem and journal is a lovely take on the world of fantasy.
- My research methods for this Summer of Faerie project have been quick, messy plunges instead of the careful, methodical, deep dives of a professional scholar. However, I am finding treasures. J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, Ursula K. Le Guin, Alan Jacobs, Madeleine L’Engle, and many others have explored the mysteries of Faerie, including memory, imagination, wonder, and beauty.
Around the Warren
Sharing Joy and Delight this Summer
Missy Kamps finds delight in the world God has made.
- I awoke the other morning to the almost frantic chatter of birds outside my bedroom window. They are the earliest sign of spring. They are no longer sleeping, but are busy at work enjoying the full length of the day. All this fluster of activity in the bird world reminds me it is time to get outside myself. It is an invitation to explore all that the Creator has made.
Summer Travel Adventures
Need a good read for your summer adventuring? Liz Cottrill has you covered.
- Are you looking for a book for your young people to have along on vacation, or just to spend the lazy summer days enjoying, but discouraged by the YA offerings?
Here are a couple I’ve read recently, one for boys, one for girls, but of course both perfectly acceptable for either.
One boring weekend when I was 11, I opened a boring sounding book and did not shut it at all until the last page. It was Ash Road by Ivan Southall, about some kids in the Australian bush who coincidentally all ended up home alone when a forest fire raged through their community. It was suspenseful, and must have marked me because I was 11 years old five decades ago.
Something to Do with Your Kids
I love a good list of activities to do with your family, and the Spruce rarely fails to deliver. Here are 31 reasons to celebrate in July.
Something to Watch
Mark Rober had a problem with squirrels. So he solved it with mechanical engineering–and also kinda befriended the squirrels in the process.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team