When we moved to Patina Farm ten years ago, we had no idea how much animals would change our lives. Now, we couldn’t imagine life without them. If you’ve been wondering, let me assure you that they’ll absolutely be making the move with us to Patina Meadow in the fall.

We’ve always loved our dogs, and in Santa Monica we even got started with our chickens.

Our first chickens in Santa Monica

But the true depth of our connection to the animals came here at Patina Farm. When we first began growing our animal family, I remember thinking it was my duty to care for them, but I had no idea how much they would take care of me as well.

I began noticing the way the animals lived their lives. Each and every one of them were always fully present.

When it was time to eat, they ate.

When it was time to wander, they wandered.

And when it was time to rest, they rested.

Our animals have healed me in so many ways and have taught me so many lessons, but perhaps the most important thing they’ve helped me understand is how to slow down.

When I think of myself ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, I realize how fast I was moving. Always going, doing, getting things done. I knew I wanted to slow down, but I didn’t really know how.

The animals showed me the way.

I began to observe how they noticed the things around them, whether it was food, a small beetle to follow, or literally roses to smell.

And then on occasion, they would pause. Their ears would perk up, their eyes would glance around, and their noses would sniff a little extra. They would use all five senses to see if there was a concern — or not.

They never worried in advance about a threat, they simply perked up and paid attention when it mattered. If they sensed there might be something that needed tending to, they dealt with the matter. If there wasn’t, they went back to what they were doing, whether it was chewing, sniffing, or playing.

I’ve never felt as truly present and grounded as I do now with our animals. When I feel myself getting worried or anxious, I love to step outside and connect with them.  

That connection with them, and with you, gives me so much purpose and fulfillment that I’m so thankful for.

Although the animals have already taught me so much, I know I still have so much to learn from them and I’ll be eternally grateful to accept their lessons.

Here’s to slowing down,

xo 

Brooke