Another Page – slow down, you move too fast …

This is one of the traffic signs in my neighbourhood:


Get it? Neighhhhh-bourhood. Or neighborhood, if you’re Stateside. There are many Mennonite farmers in this area. Traditional Mennonites, like the Amish, who eschew modern conveniences such as cars, motorized farm machinery, electricity, computers, zippers, buttons, pockets, dancing*, perhaps, and telephones (although I’ve seen one Mennonite man who comes to the park regularly to use the public phone booth). The farmers work their fields with horses and the families travel around the highways and sideroads in horse-drawn custom-made buggies, complete with a large orange “yield” sign affixed to the back side. There are farriers, harness makers and buggy “manufacturers” (the old-fashioned way, building them one at a time, I presume) in amongst the many farms along these back roads I drive to get to-and-from my trailer, and I was thrilled the first time I saw one of these signs at the side of the road.

The signs, of course, are meant for motorists, the people who have not given up their modern conveniences in the name of God or to follow a simpler way of life. We’re supposed to pay attention to the possibility of encountering a slow-moving vehicle and remember that we share the road with them. We don’t own the road, as it seems some of those drivers believe is the case. We are meant to give them wide berth so as not to spook their horses, and overtake them cautiously and safely. Not as I’ve seen some do.

What I am starting to think though is that these signs are actually a “sign” for the rest of the world that we also need to slow down, take our time, and not feel we need to reach our destination first. Life is not a race, it’s an experience in which we should be involved and enjoy while it lasts … because, you know, I have it on good authority that this life we are enjoying is not going to last forever. If you believe there’s an afterlife, good for you, but then you should be slowing down too – for God’s sake. I personally am not a believer, but I do still get the message these signs convey, because it’s good practice for everyone!

As the song says … Slow down, you move too fast …

You are most welcome here! Enjoying the view with me from my trailer or verandah.


*I highly recommend reading Darcie Friesen Hossack’s great collection of short stories, Mennonites Don’t Dance (Thistledown, 2011)


5 thoughts on “Another Page – slow down, you move too fast …

  1. I live in Amish country in Indiana – in fact, one of my best friends in 2nd grade was a little Amish named Fanny. We had an Amish cleaning lady and when she got married my mom and dad were invited to the wedding – the reception (or whatever they call it) lasted for a few days. I still have her recipe for Shoo Fly Pie and it is still one of my favorite pies. Some days I think getting rid of all the modern conveniences might be a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Feelin’ groovy, are you? 🙂 So now The 59th Street Bridge Song is playing and playing in my head. But that’s not so bad. I still have Simon and Garfunkel on vinyl. Why? Well you never know when you might end up somewhere with a turntable. That’s how fast I move. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great sign to pay attention to for all those reasons. When I was a kid, we had relatives and older farmer neighbors who could have driven a vehicle to town, but said they just enjoyed driving a wagon/buggy. There was a public hitching post by a little shaded spring in town where you could see wagons tied – and see who was in town that day.

    Liked by 1 person

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