17 December 2008

A Winter Miracle

I want to share a little story with you, dear readers. This happened a few nights ago when the temperature dipped to 8 degrees with -3 wind chill. See, we live just down the road from a small, thriving Amish community. FYI, Amish are a particular brand of Christian who don't use much, if any, electricity, don't fight in wars and generally shun those not of their faith and families. They are, however, nice folks who are always free with a smile and a wave as they pass by in their buggies. They're so nice that people don't even seem to mind the occasional horse dropping on the roads. There are quite a few Amish homes down the way and a school, of course, as the Amish don't usually send their kids to public schools. If you'd like to learn more about the Amish, or plain folks, visit Wikipedia. Now, on to the story.

The other night, at about 10 p.m., a young Amish father had just placed his two-year-old daughter, Hannah, in their buggy with the intention of hopping inside himself when something spooked the horse and off it ran, buggy and all. With the two-year-old inside it! The father attempted to run it down but, as anyone who has ever seen a horse run knows, no man could have caught up in time. This is not a usual occurrence as Amish horses are not easily spooked. In our town they can often be seen trotting alongside half a dozen fully loaded 18-wheelers (as this is a popular stop for truckers) and they don't bat an eyelash. They tolerate honking horns, blaring stereos and who knows how many coyotes and other wild creatures. But whatever the reason, something must have spooked this horse because the buggy in question quickly disappeared into the night and was nowhere to be seen or found. The family and rescue workers searched and all they found was one of the child's shoes along the roadside. The family went the entire night not knowing what had happened to their young daughter.

Eventually, at about 7:15 a.m. a passing motorist saw the child huddled by the roadside and immediately gathered her up and took her to the rescue command post. After her nightlong ordeal Hannah was examined and found to be suffering from hypothermia and skinned knees from being thrown from the buggy. She was treated and released from the hospital after only a few hours. And that's it. Doctors will keep an eye on her for a while, especially the foot that lost its shoe, but she is basically fine.

How's that for a bona fide miracle? I know, I know, I can hear some people saying that she was already a tough kid for living without electricity. But it's not like the Amish go cold all the time, they have wood heat just like we have in our home and we stay warm enough. And many Amish use kerosene for various things too. The Amish way of life is not about suffering or penance, it is about simplicity. Yeah, Amish kids work harder than other kids and are therefore tougher. But I think there's more to it than this. I think somebody of the godly persuasion was looking out for her.

I say: 'Tis the season to praise your personal god(s)! Any miracles happening around your neck of the woods??

P.S. I would include a link to the actual news story but it includes photos of the family and as Amish dislike having their photographs taken I've opted not to link to the story.


Beverly said...

Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story and thank the Goddess little Hannah is going to be OK. I love stories like this that give me faith that the universe is watching out for us, sometimes in ways we don't comprehend, I truly believe that. You've touched my heart!

Livia Indica said...

You're very welcome! I don't usually post things like this but as it happened within a short walking distance from my house it just shouted to be shared. It's a dark time for my family (short story: drug addiction sucks) but this tale cheered me up.

May the blessings of the season be upon you and all of us.

One Woman's Journey said...

Thank you for visiting my journal.
Hope we do not get poison ivy again.
Blessings to you this early morning.

Livia Indica said...

And to you as well!

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Livia Indica said...

Hey there, thanks for visiting. I'll be sure to check out your herb blog!

Quiet said...

Thank you for this story. I've always been fascinated by the Amish.

As a child we had no electricity either but it rarely got very cold. We had wooden fires and used to gather around them as a family.

Thank you for visiting my blog. You have a few and I'm finding my way around each one! This is my favourite so far.

Many blessings for the season.

Greg Fletcher-Marzullo said...

This is a great story, thank you.

Just today, my hubby and I went to a Pennsylvania Dutch market that was fantastic and we were chatting about Amish folks on the way home with our goodies in tow.

When I see people plugged into technology every moment of the day (iPods on the street, cell phones everywhere, etc.), I totally get the call to simplicity.

Is it Emerson or Thoreau who wrote "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

Livia Indica said...

Hey there Quiet. Yeah, I grew up without much heat for a while too. It's really not that bad as the body just get accustomed to it. I'm glad you like my blog, I like yours too!

Greg, I understand the urge to go simpler too. I would love to never have to answer a phone again. That said, I don't think I could live without the internet, not to mention flushing toilets!!