• Karen Luke Jackson

Life on a Goat Pasture


When I relocated to the Garden Hamlet at Highland Lake, part of the appeal was the farm-like setting, complete with goats, a guard donkey, a white peacock who roamed the neighborhood strutting his plumage, and chickens and ducks nearby. Whenever anyone from out-of-town visits, they ask me "How'd you find this place?"


I'd decided to downsize and wanted a change from the traditional neighborhood where I'd lived for fifteen years. I had always enjoyed facilitating retreats at various camps and conference centers. The Hamlet, built on what had been the baseball field of a Catholic camp for girls and boys, had some of that appeal. The catch was the cottages had been built as vacation rentals. Closets were small and there were no garages.


Divesting myself of furniture, clothes, books, notes from classes I'd taught, family heirlooms, and items I'd kept because I had a two-car garage and only one car, took six months. Three years earlier, I'd cleaned out a house my parents had lived in for forty years. I didn't want to leave that task to my children.


I recently celebrated one year in my new home. Occasionally I reach for a book that's no longer on my shelves, but much of the "stuff" I thought I couldn't live without I'm glad to be rid of. Early mornings, sitting on the porch, I watch kids frolic in the field and give thanks for new breath, new life.


Questions for Reflection


What might need downsizing in your life?


What are your early mornings like? How do you begin your days?


How and for what do you give thanks?


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