If you had told me that I would be a shepherd in my 40's, I would have snorted, had a good laugh, and returned to shoe shopping. Probably in that order. I like clothes. I sew. I knit. And now, I shepherd. I think there is a logic to this progression. After all, I didn't start knitting until my 30's, sewing in my 20's. As a teenager, I was pretty fixated on books and boys, and not necessarily in that order. Books were escapism, boys were, well, boys.
But like all people disaffected by material goods - how many pairs of shoes can one own and actually wear in a reasonable rotation? How much yarn stash is too much? - eventually, we find ourselves looking for greater meaning. Our children are growing up and venturing into the world, to some extent, not the 3 year old really, and are asking the hard questions. And you realize that to impart real meaning to them about the crazy world we live in requires going back to the basics. Eggs come from real chickens that wander around the yard and eat bugs. Hamburgers come from the cows we fed apples to last fall. We can grow lettuce and carrots and basil and chives and eat them as we harvest. We watch the cows chew their cud and poop at the same time and the mysteries of digestion and appetite are not so mysterious. Observing a bull woo a cow offers a more honest conversation about the birds and the bees with a teenager. There is beauty in those small realities.