Last night, I dined with an Amish family in Rebersburg, PA. Since the Amish don’t want to be photographed, I don’t have a photo to share, but I will say that I loved the evening. It was as perfect and refreshing as you are imagining. As the sun set behind the mountains and the evening air fell cool and sweet around us, I felt alive and happy.
The family served fresh bread and strawberry jam, mashed potatoes, meat, noodles, asparagus, fresh fruit, and rhubarb pie. We all sang hymns around the table, and then we went to observe the horses and the chickens on the farm. I watched a man working in the field and children riding on a cart behind their pony. I listened to our host talk about rising at daylight and retiring in the darkness and how he interacted with the birds and animals on the farm.
The grandmother ran a little store out of her home where I bought a jar of her pickled beets and two bags of dried apples. The host said, “You chew on them. So sweet!”
The Amish love simplicity. They do what is simple, but that doesn’t mean easy or without abundance. It means peaceful and right, I suppose. When it was time to pray, the host said that they say a “silent prayer” instead of out loud. When my friend asked if the Amish pray out loud together, he said, “Yes, in the morning and in church, but at dinner with guests, we pray silently. It is more simple.”
We drove home down winding Pennsylvania roads. We turned off the music. We enjoyed simple conversation. It felt peaceful and right. It was a new kind of abundance.