Scenes from my Bike – Holmes County, Ohio


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!

12 responses

  1. Rita,
    Thank you for the beautiful rendition of our weeklong ride through the lovely Amish countryside in Ohio. Your words bring back wonderful memories of our trip. It was wonderful getting to know you, Mary, Krista and Kim. I hope our paths cross again sometime when Don and I visit Washington state.

  2. Rita, it’s Helene again. I’m so sorry. I got you mixed up with the Rita from Washington! Everything I said in my previous post is true, but I will add that I hope we can get together with you and Mike soon. Remember, we need to go to Starliner Diner!!

  3. Helene, thank you so much for checking out my blog and for your kind comments. It was such a pleasure to meet you and Don. Yes, our dinner at Starliner Diner needs to be planned very soon!

  4. Rita, Thank you for bringing me right back to my time in the Amish countryside last week. I too felt the pull to simplify my life and slow down and enjoy as much of my family and this amazing creation around us. So great meeting you and Mike. Thank you for all the encouraging words on the trip!! Mary

  5. Mary, thank you for commenting. What a treat to hear from you. Yes, I think we all experienced that gentle nudge toward a simpler life. Hard to do but worth a try. It was an absolute joy getting to know you. Stay in touch. My e-mail is

  6. Rita, I felt as if I were on the bike ride with you with your beautiful descriptive passage.
    It was a lovely trip.

  7. Aunt DoDe, it is such a treat to see a comment from you today. I hope it was easy to do. I wish you could have been on the trip. Truly a wonderful experience!

  8. Oh boy – Starliner Diner. Their plantains are one of my favorite foods on earth! Two or three times I’ve biked there from home for a great lunch.

    I’m so happy to read the nice comments about the trip and the revelations that have resulted. Bringing you all together and seeing the result has brought Rod and me the most incredible joy and satisfaction! We are blessed to have had that great week with you.

  9. Thanks for your comment, Joe. It sounds like dinner at Starliner Diner needs to be planned for the Columbus folks. Let’s try to organize that – sometime after our son’s August 9th wedding!

    1. Sounds great to me!

  10. Nicely written, Rita. I always enjoy your writing:)

  11. Thank you for commenting, Donna. There were so many beautiful scenes/thoughts from our week in Amish country that I wanted to capture.

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