Starting this read at the start of the pandemic seemed appropriate and a bit of a life line if I’m being honest. I had no idea what would happen in our community as no one did then. My son was yet to be diagnosed as autistic and adhd but I could feel something in the air swirling around us for quite some time. The author’s calm and straight forward way of telling his story of his youth while also taking us along with his growing family gave me hope and courage to trust my own instinct and my son. I knew my boy would need something different, more and less all at the same time. My boy grows in such exponential ways it can often be difficult to keep up with. This book helped me to remember to lean on our environment, which we are blessed to live on a small Maine island. And to lean on our community which around the same time, was just itching to do something for families. Our lives have actually become much richer because of our community and because of what the pandemic focused many of us to do; lean on each other in ways we had forgotten.
I had the pleasure of hearing Ben speak about this work in person back in 2013 when I was teaching at the Squam Artworks; a Taproot Gathering. It would be two more years before I would have my first child and I found what he had to say about his journey as a farmer and father inspiring and calming. I highly recommend this read for anyone who wants to raise their family away from the main stream.