Friday, September 28, 2007

Buckwheat Festival

Buckwheat Festival, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Last night some members of my "canvas group" went to the Preston County Buckwheat Festival as a bit of a "faith venture". My dad also joined us for the the fun. I asked the folks at the fire hall if I could take a picture, and they put this together for me--after I had already eaten more than my fair share of food. But regardless, these little beauties made for a great photo.

Now I could talk about what faith ventures and canvas groups are in this entry, but I think I will save that for another occasion--and perhaps another location. But if you want to learn about buckwheat--and by this I mean something beyond the character from The Little Rascals then click here.

For now, I want to talk about the event itself. Because of the rain and overcast nature of the evening, attendance wasn't all that high last night, but there were a decent number of people out for this auspicious event.

This year is the 66th annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival, and last night was the night of the big fireman's parade. The parade celebrates and honors the fire departments of the region, and features dozens of firemen and fire trucks. Of course there is also the crowning of King Buckwheat and Queen Ceres as preliminaries to the festival.

Part of the tradition of the Buckwheat Festival is to go to the Kingwood FIre Hall, and enjoy some buckwheat cakes. For $7, you receive two sausages, endless buckwheat cakes, a carton of milk, applesauce, and bottomless cups of coffee and water. Eating at the fire hall is a real treat because you literally see people from every walk of life, and from all over the world enjoying a meal together. To me, it's a little picture of what heaven will be like.

It's also a reminder of a different way of life. In the events leading up to our arrival, I noticed myself running through my day in a hurry. From the point I work up, I was moving at high speed. I was also spending the day with my dad, and he wasn't geared to the same frenzy. While at first this was frustrating for me, it began to be liberating and eye opening. I found myself getting incredibly impatient as time ticked away. I found myself becoming easily angered.

And then, I realized that I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. While I seem to be moving through life at a relaxed pace to others, I am often frenzied in my efforts. Can you relate to the frenzy?

By the time the buckwheat festival rolled around, I had changed demeanor entirely. While tired, because it was toward the end of the day, I found myself able to simply enjoy the time I had with my dad and my friends. I also found myself able to enjoy buckwheat cakes and a parade and even a craft/livestock show.

Sometimes we can get so busy, that we fail to appreciate there is a whole world going on around us, and that is really sad. While we are trying to make a difference in the world in a "big way", every day, there are people making a difference in the world in subtle ways. Have you ever given consideration to the fact that there are people who make their living through a craft, or through the raising and sale of livestock? The idea seems a bit foreign to me, but then I remember my mom. She raised birds and dogs during most of my childhood, and she constantly made and sold crafts of various types.

Her pace of life was always very relaxed, and she didn't get bothered easily. And through the contributions she made with her skills she touched many people.

As I started writing this blog, I intended for it to be a simple celebration of buckwheat cakes and sausage with friends and family. As I close it, I realize there is so much to be said for making a unique contribution in the place where God has positioned you, and to relax and enjoy the world around you.

Of course, we live in a world with big problems that need solutions, and these just can't be ignored, but we also live in a world in which we benefit greatly from slowing down, and easing up our pace.

So, as I am asking myself this morning, I will ask you the same thing? What's your hurry? What is it that you are trying to achieve by living at frenzied pace? Are you being an instument of God's grace as you interact with others? And are you enjoying and savoring the moments before they slip away?


BigMama said...

Another good blog. However, whenever I think of the buckwheat festival, it automatically reminds me of a wagon fulla pancakes:

Have a great weekend!

Franklin Jr said...

Billy, As I remember brother, We have had a conversation about slowing down many times..too much scheduling..overlap of schedules..multiple commitments...some times its a blessing to help others see the need to slow down..if they like to hear it or not, but also to appreciate what were slowing down for

Anonymous said...

A little buckwheat trivia. Did you know that back in the day at the International House of Pancakes (ihop) they used to serve buckwheat cakes. They later exchanged it for the harvest grain due to the lack of interest and enjoyment of the buckwheat. Oh well i know i love it and I have decided that i will attempt to make a pilgramage to the buckwheat every year if i am able.