Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding Virtue

   This morning, as we paged our way through the school day a familiar boredom crept up on me.  Soon I was feeling sorry for myself as a mundane yet busy day stretched out before me.  Wouldn't I rather shop?  Or have some time off, away from the kids?  Wouldn't I like to lose myself in a little project, rather than attending to the important things that need to be done?  Oh yes, a hundred times yes.
     Ally, Sam and I have been reading Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing aloud together.  We all sit side by side on the couch.  Sam loves to read the parts of Don Pedro or Don John (why the Spanish prefix and English name?) and roll his "r's" to lend a little Spanish accent.  We simply read, then discuss what's happening, focusing on the story line.  This is not English Lit 100, just Shakespeare on the couch.  Today the innocent Hero was falsely accused of immorality by her betrothed, Claudio, as they stood before the friar to be married.  Claudio and the schemers storm out of the church, leaving Hero's loved ones standing over her, first worried her faint signaled death, then considering how to clear her name.  The friar proposes allowing Claudio to believe she has died, to make him regret his actions arguing that,

"...for it so falls out
That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
Why then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours..."

Act IV, Scene i

     There I sat, in the morning sun, with my children beside me, all was right in my day, and I?  I prized not to the worth the gift God had given me this day.  But later, when my own little Don Samuel ran off to play before lunch, I went back and read the words again, aloud.  I tried to prize the rest of the day, to see the worth in the ordinary.  As I considered all the families in the South who have lost loved ones or seen their home scattered, all the families who have lived what we have feared, the quote seemed doubly true.  I must see the value of what I possess while it is mine.

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