John Cuddeback

Daddy, Why are There Flowers?

April 16, 2014

I pride myself on answering questions. As a teacher I have the opportunity to answer many, and I try to do so with precision and completeness.
But some questions are different.
This one pierced through the normal routine of question…

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Fathers and Sons, and Gardens

April 9, 2014

“The land provides the greatest abundance of good things, but doesn’t allow them to be taken without effort.”
“Furthermore, the land also freely teaches justice to those who are capable of learning; for it does people favors in proportion to…

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The Gift of Spring

April 2, 2014

“Nor would the stress
Of life be bearable for tender things
Did not so long a respite come between
The cold and heat, and heaven’s indulgence grant
This comfort to the world.”
Virgil, Georgics II
I must be a tender…

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The Silence of Authority

March 19, 2014

Sometimes speaking, or holding one’s tongue, can make the difference. All the difference. For life and death.
Many in authority today are silent when they should not be. Through weakness. And the consequences are devastating. Broken communities, broken businesses, broken…

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The Heart, in Suffering

March 12, 2014

“Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
Will be a pleasure.”
Virgil, The Aeneid, I
Aeneas and his men have endured much since leaving Troy. And of course they left only after the destruction of all they knew and loved in…

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What Can Be Sweeter?

March 5, 2014

An Ash Wednesday Quotation and Reflection

“And the Lord, seeking his workman among the multitudes to whom he thus crieth, saith again: ‘What man is he that desireth life and would fain see good days?’ (Psalm 33) And if hearing…

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Zeus’ Plan for February

February 26, 2014

“Aegis-bearing Zeus has a design for each occasion, and mortals find this hard to comprehend.”
Hesiod, Works and Days
Hesiod was convinced that Zeus has a plan for every occasion. Even February. Yet we mortals find this hard to comprehend—especially…

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When Your Mother Grows Older

February 19, 2014

“For other animals have their natural ‘forethought’ which enables them to provide for themselves: whereas man lives by reason, which can attain to forethought only after long experience: so that children need to be instructed by their parents who are…

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Virgil and Valentines

February 12, 2014

Aeneas, though he struggled with desire
To calm and comfort her in all her pain,
To speak to her and turn her mind from grief,
And though he sighed his heart out, shaken still
With love of her, yet…

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Cobbett on Fires

February 6, 2014

A good fire might even save a marriage…
“Fire is a capital article. To have no fire, or a bad fire to sit by, is a most dismal thing. In such a state man and wife must be something out…

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For the Sake of His Children

January 29, 2014

“But would the father have the heart to work if he didn’t have his children?
If it weren’t for the sake of his children.
And in winter when he works hard.
In the forest.
When he works the hardest.

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The Piety of a Pagan

January 22, 2014

“I am Aeneas, duty-bound, and known
Above high air of heaven by my fame,
Carrying with me in my ships our gods
Of hearth and home, saved from the enemy.”
Virgil, The Aeneid, I
Pious Aeneas. The phrase appears again…

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A Husband in Winter

January 15, 2014

“At the very moment when the vine has shed
Its latest leaves and the cold north wind has shaken
The glory from the woods, at that same moment
The lively husbandman projects his thoughts
Into the coming year…”
Virgil, The…

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Having the Heart to Hope

January 8, 2014

“Here for the first time he took heart to hope
For safety, and to trust his destiny more
Even in affliction.” The Aeneid, I, Virgil
The great city of Troy has fallen in an inferno of death and destruction. Having…

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A Wish for the New Year

January 1, 2014

“On New Year’s Eve, at about quarter to twelve o’clock at night, the master of the house and all that are with him go about from room to room opening every door and window, however cold the weather be, for…

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What We Wish at Christmas

December 23, 2013

In practicing the rites of worship men hope that they will be vouchsafed a share in the superhuman abundance of life. From time immemorial, this very thing has always been considered the true, the immanent fruit of all great festivals……

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