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  • Writer's pictureTina

What I Love About Our Life

The herd polishing off the last of the autumn olive in the field

There is a lot to love about this life. I'm not speaking about my life specifically, but our collective experience, which we are gifted with for a short time. If you look for it, you will find joy, goodness, and light in every situation, interaction, and connection. Most of the time, I feel uncommonly blessed. As with everyone, I, too, go through seasons of doubt, frustration, and feeling misguided. However, as a whole, life is good, the blessings are abundant, and I feel happy, content, and at peace.

I recount these blessings every morning as I walk my canine best friend. How can one not feel blessed, happy, and at peace when gifted with the opportunity to live where I do? The small things put a smile on my face, brighten my day, and make me wonder about the universe's workings. When one thinks about the complexities of nature and how perfectly balanced our world is, one cannot help but feel awed. I note the small changes each day brings as time and seasons progress. The fragrant autumn olive has stopped blooming, and the fresh, green, damp scent of wild ferns, blackberries, and grape blossoms has replaced the lovely scent of the autumn olive. The once bare woodland floor is now lush, dense, and green with May apples, ferns, and lilies of the valley.

Our fields are bright green and thick, and green grass will turn to hay to be harvested to feed our small herd throughout the winter. Corn has been recently planted amongst the waning wheat, and peeks of green stalks are beginning to make their appearance. The wildlife are fat and healthy as they graze in our fields, hunt in the woodlands, and forage the treelines. The streams are running strong, and the water is plentiful for all. Our feathered friends who come to stay for the summer are thriving along with their little ones, who are no longer so little. The bullfrogs sing, the blue heron finds food and refuge at our ponds, and snakes, turtles, and lizards thrive and balance the ecosystem. All creatures have their place in the workings of nature.

My co-workers are not judgmental or narrow-minded but four-legged, loving, trustworthy creatures who add so much joy to my days. Walking with the herd to the pastures' outreaches brings me a sense of calmness and peace. There are few politics within the herd. Issues are handled swiftly and bluntly; there is no pretense, sneak attacks, or backbiting. One does not have to worry about what is being said behind their back when dealing with goats. If you annoy them, they bite you or headbutt you. It is evident when one is out of line and quickly reminded of one's place. Sometimes, I feel more attuned to my goats and how they handle issues than my fellow humans. My goats are by far the best group I have had the pleasure to work with.

Creating useful, high-quality, helpful products satisfies all facets of my personality. I get to be creative, do research, and pour my all into something that brings a smile to others. I am satisfied to know that something I create with care and love makes a difference to someone or improves their quality of life. It's just a little bar of soap, but when I receive messages, thank you cards, or have conversations with others who find relief or happiness from using my soap, it makes what I do feel worthwhile. It's the connection that is created that brings a smile to my face.

Knowing that my family gets to work together, stay together, and create something meaningful together is immensely satisfying. I love that we all work together to build something that sustains our family, hopefully creates a family legacy, and touches the lives of future generations. I am not a short-term thinker. When I look to the future, I am hopeful that what we are doing now will impact the lives of my daughter's future children, their children, and so on. I think I understand why my dad worked as hard as he did to build his business. He wanted to ensure that his present and future family would benefit from his hard work and sacrifice. It's a noble cause to try to build something for future generations. I can only pray to be as good of a person and a business person as my dad.

I gently encourage you to take a long, hard look at your life, your world, and your circle of people. Some days, it feels as though one has to look harder than others, but the blessings, joy, peace, and goodness are there. One does not have to look too long or too hard to find the light and wonder this life grants us. Embrace it. Nurture it and hold it tightly. You, too, are part of that beauty.

On this sultry summer-like day, stay safe, be smart, look for the wonder and beauty in the world, recognize it for what it is, and keep washing your hands.

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