We no longer have a household of children, but we still have a fair number of young’uns around the place. Our own kids are young adults now and are busy in their own lives. One lives not so far away, close enough to stop in to fill grocery bags of fresh produce to take home, borrow cookbooks, or simply visit for a ‘taste of home’. I love this, really, I do. The other has already built his own cabin just beyond our place and through the woods. He has his own small carpentry business and is constantly on the go…no grass grows under the feet of this boy, that’s for sure. Then we have our assortment of young people who live and work with us. WWOOFers and an intern at the moment, living in the little dwellings that are scattered around the property. I truly love the energy these young people bring to our days. The conversations we have with them are always so full of ideas and promise. They all take such a genuine interest in the world and they are committed to doing their best for this planet and humanity. They have a vision for themselves and a vision for how they can serve the world. All of this keeps me very hopeful for the future. Often, our conversations together delve into farming, sustainability, politics, religion, science… you name it and we’ve probably sat around the kitchen table and shared thoughts with one another. In the evening, I love watching them seek one another out, walking foot paths through the woods to sit around a campfire or make food together and engage in their own round table of conversation. Laughter, banter, opinions, singing, we hear it all….and it is such a privilege to bear witness to their growth and experiences. The people who come to learn here at the nursery are a great help to us. We do our best to teach them as much as we can, to send them off knowing how to grow food, or to use a foraged plant for a particular medicinal remedy, or to spin wool or make cheese, skills that we hope will be of use to them on their own journey. What they may not know but I should remind myself to tell them more often, is that each one leaves us feeling better about the world. Not just because they now know how to thin carrots or identify a native plant ( although these are great skills to acquire!) but because they are people you can be proud to stand behind. The future will be better, safer, and kinder with these young people making their way forward. They are searching for ways to make a difference, they want the world to be a better place for everyone. They are willing to make sacrifices and commit themselves to choosing a life that is not self-serving, but one that contributes to the greater good. I love them all. I am proud of each one, including our own. It may seem or appear that the world is on a slippery slope, one that does not bode well for the future. This may be true and there are many areas of concern, no doubt, but when I sit across the table from one of our young visitors and listen to their hope and vision of the future, I am reassured of their intent and ability to turn the ship around. I’ll grab an oar and gladly help them row!