This morning started well for me … very well.
On rising I got myself together, took a short trip to the bank and withdrew the money needed to get those materials which will be used in replacing my roof. And I set out to deliver that money to the men who will be doing the work. The Amish craftsmen who live not far from here.
As I drove up the long twisting road to the area where the Amish live it struck me how they can be isolated unto themselves … but still close to the more modern surroundings in our area.
There was evidence on the road surface which indicated that horses had been there … recently.
Well marked, interestingly named roads branched off to the left and right. Names based on long-standing family names, I suppose … each one reaching up to a farm or a business of some sort.
His directions rang clear in my mind … make a left onto Morrow Road … travel on the unpaved road for three-quarters of a mile … through the woods … and once in the clearing, travel to the farm in the field … and on your right, a new barn and a small red building.
Just as described, there was indeed a new well-constructed unpainted barn and a smaller red metal-sided building with an Amish Buggy and horse at the side. Out came Jacob and we quickly concluded our business.
On driving back through the valley I was struck how totally complete unto itself this community was. There was a lumberyard … a cider press … a quilt shop … several produce stores … several other businesses … including the one providing metal, doors and insulation where my roof will come from.
And there was a school.
To be honest I didn’t realize it was a school at first. From the distance I saw an Amish man walking in that direction up the road … and then later, as I got closer, saw several people in the yard outside a small structure.
In a circle.
It was only when I got closer that I realized the circle was primarily children. Amish children playing outside a one room school-house … Playing some kind of game. The temptation was great to stop and take a picture. But out of respect for their culture and traditions I decided to just look and enjoy.
Tthe simplicity of it all. The beauty of it all. The completeness of it all.
And I looked at the clock in my car.
The rest of my trip was spent contemplating the more simple life that these people enjoy. And that although they do not participate in those things which we find indispensible, they live a totally complete life.
And I found myself vaguely envious of this completeness.
Then I got home and turned on my PC … on the internet … and saw the headlines about the children in Connecticut. About a school there. Children dying.
This is so wrong.
Children playing here. Children dying there.
So very wrong.