NEW SUMMER EVENT:
Announcing the first annual LifeCraft Day at the Barn! Join us for a Saturday of food, fellowship, and learning on June 17th.
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Man of the Household
Be a true man in your household
Cultural pressures, coupled with accusations of toxic masculinity, make us uncertain of how to be a man, so we feel frustrated and paralyzed. Join Man of the Household in seeking the reality of true manhood, and find the confidence to live out the gift of your manhood.
The Manliness Behind the Martial
“Yi was a skillful archer, and Ao was a powerful naval commander, and yet neither of them met a natural death. Yu and Hou Ji, on other hand, did nothing but personally tend to the land, and yet they both ended up with possession of the world.” Confucius, Analects As...
A Man’s Fear about Being a Man
If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage. Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well There is often fear in marriage, and it can be of several kinds. I think Shakespeare’s object here is perhaps the primary fear attending...
Cherishing Your Spouse in Your Children
“Goodbye Aeneas. Cherish our love in the son it gave us.” Virgil, The Aeneid This stunningly powerful goodbye between spouses says so much. A son, it says, was ‘given’ to a couple by the love they bore one another. Love between spouses is already itself a gift. That...
Form the kind of friendships that make life worth living.
In a culture that puts connectedness over presence, and success over relationship, the true friendships we crave seem out of reach. Turn to the time-tested wisdom about the reality of true friendships and a plan for forging them today.
Having No Real Friends
“Those who have a host of friends and are on familiar terms with everybody seem to be real friends of no one.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics It is our worst nightmare. Everyone else has real friends. But somehow I don’t, because I’m just not up to it, or people just...
Our Pressing Need for Friendship
“Besides, friendship is especially necessary for living...” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics There are two reasons we might not give true friendship the priority it deserves. For some, it seems to us that we already have it. Or in any case, it is not evident to us that...
Certain Things in Uncertain Times
“First house and wife and an ox for the plough.” Hesiod, Works and Days I think I am not alone in feeling unsettled these days. I experience a subtle, low-grade but constant stress, a sense of foreboding that tends toward fear. Where are things going in our nation and...
Become capable of deep, meaningful work.
Economic realities along with supposedly work-enhancing or work-reducing technologies often strangle and maim good work, both in our workplace and at home. Turn to time-tested strategies for life-giving, soul-enhancing and relationship-deepening work.
Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig
"let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not the other way around, for today we celebrate again our lives’ wedding with the world, for by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond." Wendell Berry, 'For the Hog Killing' It’s about being...
Choosing Toil this Summer
“The Father himself Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth, And first ordained that skill should cultivate The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals...” Virgil, The Georgics Summer has begun. As a kind of new beginning, every season offers a natural...
The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand
*This is a reposting of the first piece I ever posted online, almost exactly eight years ago, at Front Porch Republic. It has remained one of the most popular I’ve posted. Also, here is short video sharing my joy in splitting wood. Hilaire Belloc once wrote that he...
Find your unique place in the order of nature.
A world of pre-packaged food, disposable products of every kind, and scenic overlooks (for those inside vehicles) systematically detaches us from our place in nature, to the detriment of animals, vegetables and minerals, as well as human persons. NaturalSteward invites the disconnected to find the way back to where we belong, as an integral and active part of the natural order.
A Great Reason to Maintain Our Home with Care
“Now to cultivate something is to devote one’s attention to it. And we can cultivate something in two ways: either to make what is cultivated better, as we cultivate a field... or to make ourselves better by the cultivating, and in this way we cultivate wisdom.”...
Knowing Where Our Food Comes From
“A significant part of the pleasure of eating is one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world form which food comes.” Wendell Berry, “The Pleasures of Eating” in What are People For? There are very good reasons to consider where our food comes from. Let us...
A Stewardship Plan for Everyone: Conserve, Beautify, Fructify
Stewardship is using the natural world carefully so that it thrives and thus serves human life well. The natural world provides food, cloths, and shelter, each with its proper delight and beauty. It can also form our mind and character, teaching us basic lessons of...
Husband and father, a philosophy professor, and a man on a search.
In my quarter century as a philosophy professor I’ve been exposed to much wisdom. I try to assimilate it, and I want to share what I have found.