One hot summer day after returning from a tiring day of work, I was tending my goats. As they gleefully hopped from one plant to another, I sat on a rock and wondered “how pleasant my life would be if I could live as my goats do”. Could they teach me about life, if only I would listen?
As a goat-keeper, I have experienced great joy and profound sadness. Each day and each experience brings its own enlightenment and yet it is a life of simplicity.
By watching my goats, I have learned that there is definitely a time for everything. There is a time for feeding, a time for browsing, a time to trim hooves, kidding time and bedtime of course. I must take the time to live.
At kidding time, I have learned to enjoy my child while he is still young. I play with him as if I were a kid again. Children grow up so fast and then they are gone. Of course, there is always the one you have to kick in the head to get him to wean.
During browsing time, I have learned to live in the here and now. Don’t worry what tomorrow might bring. It’s grassy here…eat it now. If it’s a rock…climb it, conquer it now, be the king of the hill.
At feeding time, I have learned to unconditionally love those who tend to me. I can honestly say, I have never been loved more than when I am feeding my little goats and it matters not if the moment before was a harsh one.
At the end of the day the goats have taught me that the fence around me serves two purposes. As for my goats, its main purpose is to protect them from outside predators. Its secondary purpose is for leaning and rubbing on for comfort. I have learned to make my fence by surrounding myself with family, friends and church family. They protect and comfort me daily.
I have learned and experienced so much just hanging out in my goat barn. I must smell the preverbal wild flowers along my path and nibble at them as well. My life has been eminently changed by encountering a capricious little furry creature with a heart of gold. However, the greatest insight I have discovered with my goats is that I don’t need much to live. Like my goats, I require just food, water, a warm dry place, love, affection and companionship. Simplicity, as my goats demonstrate daily, is how I should live my life…this I believe.
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