I love this rural landscape. Unlike the other farmlands we've gone through on our journey here, I'm noticing that this Wisconsin land, with its fields of corn and isolated patches of forest grove, rolls ever so slightly in hills and valleys. The sight of those vivid red barns and towering silos never seem to end. Cows graze. Wildflowers grow off the side of the road. I see that, especially, when I'm out running.
A few of us took a drive to an Amish community yesterday. This, I knew, would be a highlight of this trip for me. Throughout the years, I've held a fascination and have been drawn to the Amish people. I've read everything I can get my hands on. When we took a trip to the east coast several years ago, the best part was when we stayed with a Mennonite family on their farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I was in heaven.
I've always loved learning about different cultures and their ways of life. I especially admire these gentle people; their family and home centered lifestyle, their work ethic, and wholesome living. I tell my family that if I wasn't a Mormon, I'd probably be Amish. I think I was born in the wrong century, actually.
We went to a Lark's Country Store, an Amish run market. I was so excited. I meandered the aisles, taking my time and taking it all in. My children rolled their eyes. I bought a big jug of maple syrup, stocked up on some spices to take home, and got Sara the 50 lb. bag of oats she asked for. We also stopped at a home where they were having a bake sale. I just couldn't resist pulling over to another white farmhouse that was selling fresh organic eggs. (That we didn't need, but Sara might. smile.) I took every chance I had to get up close and personal with these folks, and also be able to take a peek at their beautifully tended vegetable gardens.
I could live like this, I tell myself. Maybe it's a fantasy. I've wanted to be a farmer's wife for so long, but now I see that I'm not sure I'm cut out for this work. I'm overwhelmed, at times, with the garden and home that's mine. In some ways, I might make a rebellious Amish woman. I love my individuality and I'm aware of my independent and willful nature. (Not to say that an Amish person couldn't have these qualities.)
I'm seeing more and more that I'm content with who I am.
But still, it's nice to dream.