The Rhythm of the Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons by Amanda Blake Soule with Stephen Soule
~ The Blurb ~
Many of us with busy families yearn for a slower and simpler life with our kids—one that is connected to the seasons and the natural rhythm of the year, one that has our children spending more time out of doors rather than in, one that balances out some of the busyness of our lives—the computers, the televisions, the cell phones—with a deeper connection to the Earth and an appreciation for and understanding of the natural world. The Rhythm of Family is a guide to living such a life for any family.
Following the course of a year through the passing of the seasons, this book explores the ways we can create deep family connections and meaningful memories through living in tune with the cycles of nature. From stomping around in mud boots in the spring to gathering around the woodstove in winter, our activities naturally change from season to season—from the rhythms of the seasons comes the rhythms in our homes, our hearts, our families, and our every day. Paying attention to these changes slows us down, inspires new types of creative play and exploration, instills a sense of family togetherness, and deepens an awareness of nature and self that can make our lives, days, family, and earth grow stronger.
The Rhythm of Family explores what we learn and can gain as parents and families by encouraging and experiencing creativity and nature exploration with our children, the seasons can provide us with a rhythm that brings us close to the earth, and closer to our children
~ My Thoughts ~
I have been a fan of Amanda Blake Soule since I stumbled across her blog SouleMama in 2008. I have always found her approach to life and ability to find the joy and beauty in each of its moments to be inspiring.
The Rhythm of the Family is a wonderful expression of Amanda and her husband Steven’s passion for their family, nature, and their desire to live a simple and full life. I was originally expecting more of a craft and project based book, like Amanda’s first two books, and was pleasantly surprised to find that this book read more like a journal of the seasons (organized by month) and at the end of each chapter there was a project to do for, or with, the family. True to Amanda’s style each project was both beautiful and functional. Among my favorites were the ice sun catchers (page pictured below), natural bug repellant, and the nature notebook. There was a greater variety of projects in this book from the others written by Soule and they included bath and body projects, recipes, sewing projects and unique craft projects for the family.
Another feature of this book that I enjoyed was the “Do” section found after each “Make” project. This section of each chapter offered ideas of things to do during the seasons such as growing herbs, or having a preserving party. It was another lovely way to see how the Soule family savors each of the seasons and why they have to offer.
This is one of those books that we keep handy on our family book shelf as an easy reference when we are looking for a little inspiration in our day. One of the things that stands out the most about this book is that it is full of gorgeous photographs of the Soule’s life in coastal Maine. The photos make The Rhythm of the Family not only a great reference book and inspiration to become a little closer to the earth, but a great coffee table book that my children love to look through. Several times they have pulled this book off the shelf and pored over the pages until they saw a photo that caught their attention and asked to play that game! While we may not have a shore near us, we do have a river and a great forest to hike through and so we improvise a little.
The Rhythm of the Family is a lovely reminder to slow down and savor the simple moments in life – to look for beauty where you might not have seen it before. Any family can relate this book to areas of their life, even just in bits and pieces. This really is a great book for any family that is looking to add a little wonder to their lives – and after all who couldn’t use a little wonder these days?
I would love to hear what inspires you and your family to slow down and enjoy lifes small moments!