A Tiny Step Toward a Tiny Adventure

Posted by on January 2, 2017

In 2013, I embarked on a new adventure. I left a stable, secure job to try something new. In 2016, I embarked on another adventure. I moved to a new location, a new city and state, not for work reasons, but just because …

Looking back over this past year, it occurred to me that I probably would never have moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico if I was still at my teaching job at Goshen College. If I had been still employed as a tenured, full professor, I don’t think I would have ever considered moving.

So it seems appropriate to look back on that first step of this journey, leaving that stable, secure job, stepping into the unknown, and being open to what would be to come.


It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. – “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien


One of my favorite books is “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien. Actually, it probably is my most favorite book. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve read and re–read it. It is such an epic story with great characters and lots of action.

Frodo set off on a quest. The future was uncertain, the path unknown. Like Frodo, early pioneers and homesteaders set off on journeys to the unknown. My mother also left home and family, fleeing an oppressive regime, to find a new life in a new land. These were true adventures, with hardships and uncertainties mixed in with dreams and hopes.

I, on the other hand, have never had such an adventure. Actually, to be honest, I can’t say that I’ve had any adventures. I have never taken off on a hiking trip through Europe with only a backpack and a spirit of carefree abandon. I have never moved to a new city without having a job and an apartment already lined up. I have never gone skydiving or gotten a tattoo. My life is pretty tame – and pretty safe.

This coming week, I am taking a tiny step into a tiny adventure – a tiny step into the unknown.

In my tagline for this blog, I said that I dream of, one day, having a five–acre sustainable farm. Several months ago, I realized that the dream will never move to reality unless I actually do something to make that move happen.

By this time, next week, I will have taught my last class at Goshen College. In February, I resigned in order to explore small-scale sustainable farming. I will be interning at Clay Bottom Farm and learning what I can.

My tiny step into an adventure is still pretty safe. Unlike Frodo, I will not have Black Riders following me. My life will not be in danger. But I will have some uncertainties. I will have left a fairly secure and well-paying job for a dream. Where will this all lead? Will I be able to support myself? What will I do about health insurance? Does a future career for me lie ahead? What will that career be?

New transitions, in spite of uncertainties, are exciting. I am starting off in a new direction. To put the previous concerns in a more positive light, I can ask a different question. What possibilities might open up for me? The future is open. I just need to look around.


Home is behind, the world ahead,

and there are many paths to tread

through shadows to the edge of night,

until the stars are all alight. – “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien

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