Friday, June 8, 2012

helicopters

The Farmers Market in Hershey is situated on a grassy patch near the Hershey Medical Center. It is across the way from where the helicopter goes out to collect people for treatment at the shock/trauma unit.

When I hear the helicopter start up I about who must be needing it, and I send hopes and thoughts that the person can really be helped.

There are a few Amish vendors at the market. One runs every time the helicopter launches, and stands to watch as it flies off. When it returns, this young man runs back to where he can see it again. Watches as it lands, as it hovers over the ground before gently settling back down on its designated spot.

When I used to travel a lot I'd see Amish on the trains. They get rides to market from the English...what they call those of us not Amish. I'd see them occasionally on airplanes. This young man is a new vendor, so I don't really know him...beardless, so likely unmarried, I met and spoke with the guy about my age who was there the first week, but not this young man.

When I was in Australia my sister and I took a trip on a 4 seater helicopter. It was in the area around the Great Barrier Reef and the oldest plant life on earth, where mountains meet the sea, prehistoric looking beasts in the water and on land, amazing sky. We were taken to a private beach, flew just over the tree line between the huge mountains. I loved it. It was amazing. The helicopter zipped about, quickly taking us out over the water where we could see the alligators submerged, the reef further out, the waterfalls on land. Amazing.

When I see this young man run to observe the flight of the helicopter I think about all the freedoms I have. I can travel where I want, jump right into the helicopter, I never have to wear double knit polyester or the very ugly shoes those poor women wear...my hair can be covered, loose, tied up...I don't think about what would be considered "worldly" and make efforts to avoid it. My mothers family was in Pennsylvania centuries ago: long enough ago that my great grandmother was a member of the DAR. But I've not heard that they were anabaptist or plain people, they were from England not German...probably, as most folks who left England, Puritanical, but not plain sect.

Thank goodness. This young man tugs at my heart: in the English world he could be a pilot, a medic, a helicopter technician or the guy who pumps gas into the thing. His birth requires him to stay more earthbound, land bound, plain, without worldly aspirations.

I love being a farmer's wife. We eat like royalty, get to own land that has amazing things growing on it, get to rebuild the soil, farm in quiet, with birds, bugs, snakes, turtles, bats...it is beautiful.

And if I wanted to, I could jump in a helicopter, jump out of an airplane...drive a tad further and ride every ride at Hersheypark, even shop the outlets.

Clearly this young man has a fascination, an unbounded curiosity about these flying machines. He runs to a spot to get the best view of the helicopter, returns to his booth at a slow, hang dog pace. His joy and interest are balanced equally with his look of resignation as he returns to his customers.

Freedom. Imagination. Creativity. Dreams. Goals. Plans. Not all of us in this country are free to go for what we want. Glad to be one of the ones who can, and always has.

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