Scenes from my Bike – Holmes County, Ohio
Bicycling on the roads of Homes County, Ohio, one encounters beauty at every turn of the road. Verdant pastures, sheep grazing, cows lying in the fields, and horses tending their newborn foals. Time slows down. There is no hurry here. An Amish farmer harvests hay the old-fashioned way. Pulled behind his horses the task is done while the sun streams down on his worn straw hat and the sweat glistens in his beard. Birds follow behind, finding a feast of insects in the wake of the plow. All things co-exist in a natural way. Each and every day, it is done the same way. Riding by a home, I spy a boy pulling his sister in a wagon. Round the barn they go. For all they know there is no other play more grand to be had in this world. I wonder at their lives. They look up as I ride by and wonder at me and why I ride the hills with no task at hand except to visit this tranquil land where hills wind toward a ridge, quiet shadows cool the summer heat and the silence cools my busy thoughts. The sound of horses’ hooves clip-clopping on the pavement comes from behind. Such a sight to behold as the Amish mother and her two children ride past in their buggy. I wave and call out a greeting and am pleased to get a smile in reply. We gaze eye to eye. She continues on her way on a road she shares with trucks and cars and bikes, some impatient at the delay in their hurried lives. But somehow they all survive and go about their separate lives. The mother goes home and hangs her clothes on the line to dry. They blow softly ‘neath a patchwork sky. She weeds the garden, cans tomatoes, bakes a pie, cooks the evening meal, mends the clothes, then gets on her knees and thanks the Lord for another day of his grace. I ride past perfect rows of corn, sunflowers that reach for the sky and wonder why it is I who rides the bike and the Amish who till the fields. I wonder why, yet am thankful they exist as a reminder that slowing down; however it is found, is a worthy endeavor. As I coast down the final hill, I hear a hawk cry in the woods and a woodpecker busy in the trees and know the bike has brought me to a place where my soul will be refreshed and the simplicity I seek will be found.
Thank you to Buckeye Country Roads for organizing a fabulous bicycle tour through Holmes County!
In addition to the beautiful scenery, it was a delight to meet the other riders for the week. Such lovely people one and all!