"Coming Home to Westcliffe"

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Coming Home to Westcliffe

Freedom to Choose

This weekend we installed a doggy door. We’d hesitated since (1) I wasn’t sure I wanted to cut a hole in our back door and (2) since we have lots of wildlife, wanted to be cautious about letting them out. It was difficult to always know when they wanted outside and we did not always hear the bells on the door.

We can leave the dog door open when we want to, and closed when we do not, especially at night or when we are gone. They have a great area in our mudroom and hallway to hang out when we are not home. They are all velcro dogs and like to be where we are! Hey, they are companions, after all.

Freedom is key, too. They caught on immediately and love to zoom in & out at their leisure and according to their needs & whims. Easier, too, for us to let them out of their crates or off our bed, as the case may be, in the morning to zoom out and greet a new day. Carpe diem is the morning chant! 

I got to thinking about this freedom of choice and how essential it is to ALL of our well being. Domesticated animals or those no longer living in the wild are happiest and healthiest when they can practice (live) their natural behaviors. Temple Grandin’s work supports this theory and it is not isolated to farm animals and livestock. Our animal family, here at Foxhaven, are supported in this quest to thrive; however, balanced with the stewardship and protection that is our responsibility through the domestication of our animal friends and companion animals, whether our horses, donkey, duck, cats or dogs.

This means we are always learning ways to improve their lives and enhance understanding of each as both as an individual & as a distinct and beautiful species. One example is our decision to move to Westcliffe to have more space for our animal family, but for us as well. We desperately wanted to reconnect with the land and nature which sustains us. We are thriving, and I pray our animals are too.

I was in the ‘big city’ shopping a few days ago. After being here in our mountain towns for ove a year now, the hustle and bustle, the crowds busily shopping and the stores jammed with ‘stuff’ made me very sad. I know, down to my bones, that materialism (dare I say, rampant capitalism) is not sustainable for the the planet or for our souls. The disconnect and the blank faces I saw caused me to mourn. We need some ‘stuff’, I know, to survive in this world of ours. I strive for balance. There is no freedom if the choice is not informed and freely made, at least for us humans. I wanted to come home to Westcliffe, a place of freedom and a place of choice.

Posted 156 weeks ago