My favorite way to begin each day in Lancaster County is with a 2-3 mile walk through the countryside, just after dawn. I can step outside of Terre Hill in any direction and find myself surrounded by farmland (and cows).

Having Old Amish and Mennonites as neighbors is truly a blessing. The quiet, uncluttered lifestyle their communities practice keeps them in constant touch with the natural world, in tune with the deeper, spiritual rhythms of life. You can’t help but be transformed by their example, because they’re daily reminders of what’s most important in life: God first, community second, self third.

You even see this in action on the school playground. We have five one-room schoolhouses in our neighborhood. Whenever I see the children at recess (and they seem to be always at recess), the older kids are usually looking after the younger ones. The teaching of compassion and caring starts young.

Cows have lessons to teach us as well. As I approach them along the roadside during my walks, they lock their gaze on me, full of curiosity, and continue to stare as I walk past. But once I’ve moved beyond them, they immediately go about their grazing and grooming–as if I’d never been there.

Cows keep me humble.

Posted by Bruce

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