Friday, July 26, 2013
It has struck me lately that doing something for others, rather than just for ourselves, is really the purpose of so much of what we do here. I've felt this most intimately with my own kids. Some days I wish I had all to myself. To clean and have it stay that way, to garden without interruption, to have the time for elaborately prepared meals...to sleep! But then I think, who would I be doing those things for? If only for myself, the tasks somehow lose their meaning and their appeal.
We often (surprisingly often) have visitors here as well. I like to think somehow people are drawn to this place, and I hope I have a small part in making that so. I'm not certain I do, but I still try to put out that kind of energy, despite my introverted nature. My husband is a natural at it - always welcoming or encouraging people to visit, he treats everyone like family, allowing the kids to tag along for evening chores or other acts of generosity in many small, but meaningful ways. Of course, we benefit, too, from work in a lovely environment, surrounded by animals and nature. But what is beauty for, if not to share it? And what of a lovingly prepared meal if always eaten alone?
This is really the reason behind our self-titled "Ngo Family Farm." Have I told you this? We never intended to buy a much-too-big-for-just-us house and a couple acres to keep it to ourselves. In fact, if I truly had my way, it would be more of a family compound, with much of our family living right on this very land! But we have the next best thing - family (and adopted family) coming to visit, to share in our joy of homegrown eggs, to sit by the pond, to help tend the animals, to hold the baby. And I've become a bit less shy about asking visitors to help with a little something around here, because I've realized it gives them some ownership of this place, too. They benefit as well from doing something for others; Most especially the children, who naturally gravitate toward caring for the animals.
And so we are good at sharing. And not holding back giving of ourselves. And this, I think, is what a good life is about.