We are Mark & Dana Nicholson, and we can’t go back. During ten years on the Tibetan Plateau, we adapted to the down-to-earth of lifestyle of Nomads. We lived in a remote county at over 11,000 feet with well-below zero temperatures where we heated our home with yak dung, stuffed in small stoves. Our four children slept on concrete beds warmed from underneath by radiating coals. They freely roamed the grasslands and mountainsides with Tibetan schoolmates. Given the extreme physical, political, and spiritual climate, conditions were harsh but, in many ways, it was the life! After a decade on the Rooftop of the World we moved back to North Carolina, and now we try to see life from that higher altitude. Our priorities have narrowed to family togetherness, serving in community, keeping a quiet life of faith, and doing honest work that requires sweat of our brows. And, since we learned so much from the Tibetan herdsmen among whom we lived, we are in many ways replicating their livelihood on our own North Carolina grasslands – one hundred acres that we share with close friends who also have the desire to heal, rather than strip this precious land!
Most of the food we ate on the Tibetan Plateau was local, free-range, and organic by default. Living above the tree line, our diet had to be like every preceding generation of our Tibetan community— quite carnivorous. The meat on our table came from yaks and sheep that grazed native grasses. And we noticed the difference in our physical health! More protein meant higher energy, more mood stability, and stronger immune systems.
We admired our nomad friends’ attention to the land their herds were grazing and became conscious of something we had remotely valued but had not earlier distinguished. We want to be good stewards of the earth, creatures herein, and the bodies God has given us. It is a high calling for all mankind as declared in Genesis. Caring for land and livestock, offering clean food, and educating our community in the process has become our family’s mission.