Life in the Buggy Lane… June 23, 2009Posted by Marc Troeger in Patience, Relax.
Tags: enjoy life, patience, relax, relaxing
A few nights ago, I was driving to the southern part of the state from my home in northern Ohio to do some consulting work. It had been a nice, relaxing weekend with my wife, and the four hour drive was an irritating, disruptive end to a beautiful Sunday afternoon. My irritation increased as I realized the amount of work I had to do over the next few days. Impatiently, the speed of my car crept up as I grew anxious to arrive at my hotel.
The shortest route to my destination required me to travel over a few country roads that ran through Amish country. It was inevitable that I came upon an Amish buggy plodding along a steep grade. I gritted my teeth, as I caught up and slowed, waiting for the buggy to crest the hill so I could safely pass. Impatiently, all I could think about was getting there… getting to my hotel… getting my work done!
Suddenly, from a side driveway, a huge dog come bounding out and jumped at the horse. It happened so quickly that I barely had time to hit the brakes. The buggy began to wobble as the horse turned to face the dog that was jumping and biting at its hind quarters. Amazingly, the horse never seemed to miss a beat as it kicked the dog with its rear legs, tumbling it into a ditch, and turned back to its task, the wobbling buggy stabilizing, to continue at it’s plodding pace. The dog, meanwhile, seemed all but bruised as it ran back up its driveway, tail between its legs, yelping like a little puppy.
I was so stunned by all that happened that I continued to slowly follow behind the buggy for the next several miles, even though it was clear to pass. Relieved that all was well, I was soon mesmerized by the steady clopping of the hooves on the pavement I was hearing from my open window.
Plodding along, I became aware of the beauty of the countryside I was traveling through, glowing in the early evening light. I passed a farm where a large family was enjoying a summer cookout. Crossing over a small bridge, I could see a group of boys splashing in a creek. Cows lolled on rolling hills, a hawk soared over a hay field and fireflies were just starting to twinkle and glow in the tall grass along the road. My earlier frustrations about the pace of my trip disappeared and thoughts of the pressing work vanished.
I was suddenly jolted from my thoughts when a bonnet covered head popped out the driver’s side of the buggy in front of me with a hand vigorously waving me around. A little embarrassed that I might be making the driver nervous, I checked to make sure the way was clear, and slowly made my way around the buggy. As I passed, I was able to get a glimpse of those inside. The buggy’s occupants were four women of various ages, characteristically dressed in traditional Amish dresses and bonnets. Uncharacteristically, though, the driver of the buggy looked directly at me, gave me a little wave along with a big, beaming smile; a kind, reassuring smile that told me everything was okay.
I passed and was back in my lane. But, I didn’t increase my speed to the pace I had been going earlier. I slowed down and continued to enjoy the scenic road I was traveling and, for many more miles, catching glimpses in my rearview mirror of a horse and buggy plodding along.