Mennonite Heritage Village

Creating Space

by Gary Dyck

Below is a poem about how we need to create space for simplicity and silence. When visiting the farm houses at the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), I’m reminded of a time when there was more silence and simplicity in the world.

The air around us used to be simple eight protons
and electrons,
and five neutrons.

But then came bells and clangs,
then stationary fumes going up,
and then mobile passing us by.

More people in the cities,
more machines in the heavens,
and more yelling about it all.
In a crowded house we stopping looking for solace.

Eight protons and electrons with five neutrons,
now fight with signals bouncing from every direction.

There was a time when space was disturbed by noise.
Now noise is the norm, and as strange as it may seem,
silence and simplicity have become the disturbance.

It is time we take back our space,
our peace,
our health.

To hear ourselves think and feel,

To create spaces where silence and simplicity exist.
Like the air we breathe, they provide our survival.

At MHV we are working to create a space where everyone can appreciate a state of silence and simplicity. Whether it be sitting in one of the housebarns, looking out from the windmill deck, or walking along the pond. In the coming years we hope to plant more trees around the pond and along the east where the airport is. It is important to keep a buffer for our guests from the noise. As life gets noisy and chaotic, this museum, that was created in 1964, is becoming more needed and valuable.

Please consider MHV in your year-end giving. We are a place of well-being for our community. Visit our website or mail in your donation today. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from MHV!

Upcoming Events

  • MHV Gift Shop and Galleries are closed until January 11, 2021. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
  • Winter Day Camp, January 3-5 Kids ages 6-11 can experience the fun of the Mennonite Heritage Village in winter. Enjoy skating, snow-sculpting, crafts, games, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and of course plenty of hot chocolate. Cost is $90 for all three days. Contact Robert Goertzen at or 204-326-9661.