I wrote this post yesterday and then I ended up spending my evening in what I longed for. A simpler time. Our small town was having its annual weekend of events. The county fair which included all kinds of things. Although weather tried to keep it from occurring, the Kansans stayed the course which is normal, waited out the thunderstorm, and enjoyed the evening.
It consisted of young children showing animals and exhibits being shared of their hard work in 4H. Local folks entering their baked good, sewing, etc to be judged. Where even though the parade was over in 15 minutes and you didn’t have to go three hours early for a good seat, people showed up to watch and participate.
The evening’s center of attention was that of cowboys and cowgirls showing their skills and lack of fear, all while riding livestock. When the rodeo began there was a drill team that brought in not only the United States of America flag, but the Kansas flag as well as one for each of the Armed Forces. All the while we were standing in respect for those who have fought for our country. When they completed their performance and the music had stopped it for sure felt like a simpler time to me.
Visiting a simpler time brought out young children chasing a couple calves to win a prize, young men showing their abilities on their dirt bikes and atv’s, church youth running concession stands that we ate too much food from, and cowboys that headed to another rodeo without winning a dime this night. Where seven-year old girls competed against women in barrel racing and if she hadn’t turned over that one barrel would have been pretty close to the top! One of the my favorite points in this public event was when the announcer prayed. He didn’t just do a generic prayer. To me it sounded so good to hear someone speak aloud among the people the words “Jesus Christ our Savior”. The weekend will end with a demo derby and more food from concession stands. All in the spirit of our small town fair.
Sometimes living in a small town can seem restrictive. When you need something from the store, they are out or don’t carry it. The price of gas could be slightly higher than the larger town 20 minutes away. There are no large stores or big libraries. But what they do have is connection.
The people in small communities know each other’s names, their children’s names, and how to greet one another. Whether it be a wave as you drive down the street, or a pat on the back as one enters the coffee shop. They come together strong when one of their own is in need. The connection of the community is vital as it holds the town in the present.
Rural living isn’t for everyone I understand that. My thinking is that perhaps those that do not live in it, should at least visit it occasionally. To retain a connection of community and take it back to the larger communities.
Grace is a gift,