I just came back from a very short, but eye-opening weekend in Lancaster County, PA. As many of you know, it’s one of the best places to see the Amish in action; horse and buggies riding down the street and beautiful clotheslines in their backyards full of clothes drying in the fresh air. I am sorry to say, I ended up turning into one of “those” visitors, gawking at every passing clip clop of horse hooves and grabbing for my camera, always too late to capture anything worthy of posting. I’m sorry to the Amish people of Lancaster, I meant no disrespect. I’m just so in awe seeing you lovely people sticking fast to your values and principles. It was just too much for me and I wanted to bring home a memory or have something to remember the incredible flux of unique feelings I was experiencing while out in your territory. 🙂
If you know anything about the Amish community, you would agree with me that Amish people are most likely not reading my blog. Many different Amish communities are so conservative that they reject technology to preserve their way of life. Other communities are more embracing though and realize that technology is unavoidable and necessary. But overall, they keep simple, clean homes without clutter, have strong family and community bonds, spend frequent time in nature and of course, have a strong faith in God.
Amish were off-grid and green long before it became the “in” thing to do. So, the more I learned about their simple community and way of life this past weekend, the more I wanted to mimic their lifestyle in my own life. Or since I’m writing this blog, on a computer with a smartphone by my side, at least try to adopt some of their core philosophies.
It upsets me to hear people bash the Amish like they are abnormal or like this past weekend, see all the trucks narrowly speeding by their buggies. Have we forgotten how to peacefully coexist with others outside of our norm? I think we could learn a lot from their way of living and maintaining their core values throughout the years. I find it unsettling at how much we have torn away from the simplicity of living. Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, video games, snapchat, instagram; I just saw online while researching for this post that there is even a smart umbrella that lights up when it senses rain in the air to remind you to use it! Now honestly, is this helping us or hurting us? I mean, right at this very moment, my phone is blinking with texts and my eyes are rapidly rotating from computer monitor back to phone, to email, to my Facebook page, to…I think there is actually a clinical term for this; it’s called technology overload! I’m not saying I’m ready to give up my phone or start reading by candlelight at night, but it’s just something to think about.
Reflecting back to this past weekend, I was struck by how gorgeous their farms were. They obviously take take the time to care for their things and their homes. Is this a green practice? Absolutely! Keeping good care of your possessions and your land not only shows pride of ownership, but also saves on the pocket book! Less wear and tear on your things = less money out of pocket for new things and less new things = less burden on the environment.
Since I don’t actually don’t know much about the Amish culture, I’ll just leave you with some beautiful photos from my trip. We even stayed in very unique lodging made from old train cars. Now, how much more “repurposed” can a hotel get than to use train cars as rooms?
I will revisit this whole Amish green living thing in another post, but for today, I hope you enjoy the photos. Just a warning, there will be gratuitous horse pictures. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed!