Friday, May 24, 2013

Could I be Amish?

I have thought about it? Could I be part of a special society, a certain religion, a secret undercover group, a following fighting for distinctive rights, a anthropological gathering in a remote mountain area. Yes, certainly. I could be many things. But what I have chosen so far in my life is what I am now.

When I was a young teenager I wondered what it would be like to be a nun. I was a thinker. I read Scriptures and good books. My teacher at school probably wondered what I was reading. She let me know I needed to lighten up the way I wrote my essays. It was probably affected by heavy reading and became old fashioned and did not sound like a young girl's writing.

I am fascinated by people who dare to live a life they choose. I admire them even though I may not always agree. I have a daughter who fights for people's right to have food and housing. She fights for freedom and for the right to choose. I admire her for her bravery and stamina. For a long time she spent a day each week cooking for the homeless and the poor. Fruits and vegetables and other food items were collected the day before from various friendly grocery stores and she spent all day cooking a vegan buffet - all you can eat for almost no money. Arnfinn and I visited her at the localities she cooked at; a large kitchen and eating room lent to her and her friends by the local police. I helped her collect boxes of food from the stores and we ate her delicious food.

I admire those who dedicate their lives to their neighbors; those who give freely of themselves, those who spend hours and days taking care of the less fortunate, the downtrodden. I look up to people who spend their lives making this world a better place for those around them. These are God's children who understand what charity is all about.

I have made choices in my life. I am part of something big, a faith, a way of living that makes me happy, and a trust in God that makes me feel loved and safe. I can understand the Amish. I can relate to monks and nuns. I get it that a person would go outside their comfort zone to help someone in need. A profession like Médicins Sans Frontières or Doctors Without Borders could be something I would go for had I not had an enormous family at home to take care of. That or maybe another humanitarian aid organization.

And I am grateful for the many great examples out there. I am uplifted to know there is still much goodness in the world.

Arnfinn and I just visited Jamesport, Missouri - a quaint little Amish town. At a flower auction held by the local Amish community I spoke with an elderly man who asked if I was Heidi from the book (by Johanna Spyri). I told him I was. He then proceeded to speak in the language of the Amish to see if I could understand. I think he was really surprised when I could understand what he was saying.

Photos from our visit and one of my water colors of an Amish place.

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