Mennonite Heritage Village

Why We Need Our Space

Like hundreds, maybe thousands of you, I was hiking in the Whiteshell Provincial Park this past weekend in March. As I wandered the woods and came upon people here and there, these thoughts came to mind:

In the woods I come upon a family, the two boys always stopping, scooping up discovery after discovery from the earth. A dad impatient, lifts the slowest one up onto his shoulders, away from discovery on the ground, positioned for a view.
We all need our space.

The next group is whistling and calling out. Their dog is lost in his own world of discovery. When he appears, the whistles and caring calls become abrupt, ‘Leash time for you!’
We all need our space.

Next, two energetic sisters spring up from the hill, at the bottom I find their older father waiting to be discovered. The daughters on a tight schedule keep going.
We all need our space.

I finally reach the wilderness lake and find huddles of people sitting every 50 feet along the shore in both directions. In this season of pandemic, we have discovered…
We all need our space.

Here at the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), we have also been receiving more visitors than usual every Saturday. People are buying memberships and making use of them by enjoying a stroll through our grounds and around the pond. The geese population is increasing daily! I’m so glad we can offer such a safe and peaceful space within the city limits of Steinbach. No cars whizzing dangerously by on our village lanes.

A membership at MHV will help you to slow down, give you the space you need to walk, think and learn. If you take the time and provide the space for it, you will find MHV has a lot to offer. With that in mind, let me close with this thought from poet-philosopher Naomi Shihab Nye:

“A girl… wrote me a note in Yokohama on the day that I was leaving her school that has come to be the most significant note any student has written me in years. She said, “Well, here in Japan, we have a concept called ‘Yutori.’ And it is spaciousness. It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around.” She then gave all these different definitions of what Yutori was to her.

One of them was — “and after you read a poem just knowing you can hold it, you can be in that space of the poem. And it can hold you in its space. And you don’t have to explain it. You don’t have to paraphrase it. You just hold it, and it allows you to see differently.” I just love that. I mean, I think that’s what I’ve been trying to say all these years.”

Upcoming Events

  • The Mennonite Heritage Village is open (Tuesday to Saturday)! Visit our two galleries, watch the flocks of geese arriving at our pond and find something unique at our Village Books and Gifts.
  • Every Thursday, thanks to look for informative videos on MHV’s YouTube Channel and Facebook. Each week we will have one show for children and one for adults. #safeathome
  • April 6, 7:30pm, MHV’s Annual General Meeting at 7:30pm. Like last year it will still be virtual. More information to come.
  • April 27, 7:30pm, MHV Volunteer Orientation. More information to come. MHV has a variety of opportunities for you!