I was traveling behind an Amish horse and buggy on my way to work on a recent morning. I was driving and the horse was cantering. I knew I was going to be behind this particular commuter on this particular morning because as I was getting into my car I heard the hooves of the horse clopping down the street. Since the Amish moved into our neighborhood several months ago, I will often hear them coming before seeing them.
Sometimes I wonder if this is how it was 100 years ago. Instead of hearing the different whines of engines and mufflers up and down the streets of my neighborhood, there were the different sounds of hooves depending on the age and breed of the horse. Some sharp Amish teen would be able to tell the difference between a Morgan and a Standardbred from a quarter mile away.
I followed this Amish commuter through one stop sign and then around a corner. As we came onto a straightaway, I had some room so I veered around them and continued on my morning commute. As I went by I looked in the buggy and saw two men. The driver waved and I waved back. Did he see me? I don’t know-I figured waving was the neighborly thing to do.
I have noticed that the Amish almost always have more than one person in the buggy when they are traveling. Is this to be more efficient in their travel since the horses need water and rest unlike a gas powered car? Is it in case the buggy breaks down-one person to hold the horse and one person to change the wheel? Is it because they are a more social people?
I thought about this while I drove to work alone in my car. I started to look at the other cars on this Friday morning and noticed that most of them had one person inside. Why do we commute to work with only one person in a car? Is it because this is more efficient for us? Is it because if we break down all we have to do is call on our cell phone and Triple A will be there in 30 minutes? Is it because we are not as social as the Amish?
I know very little about the Amish. I don’t know much about their history. I think they have some sort of religion that they are strict about. Someone once told me there was a reality TV show about Amish teens-I never saw it so I don’t know if it was good or not. What I do know about the Amish is that they reminded me on a recent morning that we should spend more time with others.