Saturday, 5 June 2010

By Lamplight

Last night I was called out to assess a baby with feeding difficulties. It was the first time that I had been called to an Amish farm after dark and it was a very different experience to going out during the day.

We drove up to the farm and as we approached we could see flickering lamps/candles in the windows. The rest of the place was in darkness, but thankfully, one of the family came out with a light to guide us safely to the door. (How I managed to forget a torch, I don't know!)

Once inside the farmhouse kitchen, we found the whole family gathered. The kerosene lamps cast a soft glow on the gathering and they were all there waiting to hear our opinion on their new baby. It is a large family of mostly girls, so there is no shortage of help when it comes to baby care.

There is something about the quiet simplicity of their lives which struck a chord. They seem so happy and contented living away from the crazy everyday existence that most of us seem to have these days. It was a very special experience to spend a short time in their midst; to see their smiles and listen to their expressed concern.

I have been to this farm on a number of occasions and on each of them, I see hard work and industry, but I also note the sense of joy in their shared activities and yesterday heard one of the daughters singing in the kitchen as she did the baking (I visited three times during the course of the day.)

I came away thinking about how different life can be if we choose to live in the moment, rather than being so busy with activity that we miss what is happening around us: the joy of simple pleasures and the importance of surrounding ourselves with those whom we love.