Why We Live on a Homestead


Lower Garden on Homestead

Our friend’s daughter had just completed her second year of college, and wanted to travel for a week before returning to New York for a summer job in theater. My wife and I invited her to stay with us on our homestead in Utah.

One day toward the end of her visit, the three of us sat on the porch eating omelets. Sunlight dappled the poppies. Hens, the source of our eggs, pecked and scratched in the garden. A breeze wafted through the canyon. “Would you be willing,” I asked Sophie, “to share impressions of your visit?”

Ordinarily chatty, Sophie turned quiet. She fidgeted with the pendant on her necklace.

I tried to surmise her feelings. To my mind, the week had been pleasant. An avid permaculturist, Monte gave her tours of our garden. I taught her how to bake bread. The three of us took a day trip to Tony Grove, an alpine wilderness teeming with wildflowers and pine. And then we offered Sophie another quality we value: unstructured time. Without pressing obligations, she could read or walk or in any other way follow her spirit. Wedged between a busy semester and demanding summer job, these seven days provided a chance to relax.

“Do you want an honest answer?” Sophie’s dark eyes suggested reluctance.

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