On a recent visit to a corn maze with my family, I had the most unexpected wave of emotion for such an event. Highly anticipated by both of my children and even my husband, as this trip was in lieu of overly priced state fair experience and contained far fewer germs, we were on our way! Astounded at the number of cars as we pulled onto the farm, my first thought was, “Great! We’ll have to wait forever to get to anything!” Having visited in the past, I knew there was much more than a maze for families to explore during their visit. But as we walked through the barn and out into the fields aplenty, my heart jumped to my throat and tears filled my eyes. Corny, I know (no pun intended . . . okay, intended!), but the sight of so many children engaged and playing--really playing--was overwhelming in that instant. The simple pleasures of climbing on repurposed farm equipment, grinding feed corn in old mills, using a hand crank water pump to race plastic ducks down a pipe, sliding down and swinging on giant piping, pedaling miniature toy tractors on a dirt track, and the newest attraction: banging on pots and pans strung up between posts with a giant spoon!
Families could be seen over acres of farmland picking pumpkins, venturing hayrides, playing--really playing!--and of course navigating the giant maze. Seeing the flags bobbing along above the corn stalks was such silly sight! But the most amazing sight, or rather lack thereof, was the near absence of any technology, cell phones included. Now, if you know me well, you know I am an absolute technology hater. Yes . . . HATE-er. To see families talking and running, laughing and sharing without having to post it or snap it was beyond refreshing and reminiscent of a time too quickly gone from our lives. For while it has its advantages, technology is stripping away the childhood experience at lightning speed!
Seeing families engaging with one another and children just being CHILDREN without the absurd interference of a handheld device was almost more than my heart could stand. To focus on my own experience and family without being reduced to a puddle of tears right there in the middle of all things “fall, family, and fun” was a challenge to say the least. I mean . . . I’m not even a crier, for goodness’ sake!
THIS is what we are missing in life! Simplicity. Banging on old pots and pans with spoons . . . really? Had they the wherewithal to understand the value of one million dollars . . . this would have been the equivalent this crisp autumn day.
I revisit this memory often. It is one of my favorites. I wonder and I pray: did anyone else see what I saw that day? Did the laughs and conversations continue in the car as they drove away? Or was it gone in an instant and replaced by the cold, distant, lifeless company of a--well, you know.