Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bikers Make Me Cry

Yesterday was our town's annual Maple Syrup Festival. There was much fried food to be had (lamb gyro, thank you) and plenty of quaint cameraderie. The popcorn was free. The tossed-out Tootsie Rolls would have liked to've cracked a tooth.

I cried twice, during the parade. Why? Why?

The first time was during the fire trucks. It was one of those moments where, if I had so chosen, I could have taken it up a few notches, to the full-on ugly cry. Why? I'm not even hormonal. It was weird.

Then it happened again, during the motorcycles. You heard me.

Yes, I was still a little confused. But I realized they were taking me back to a few years ago to when a local soldier was killed in combat. We all lined the streets as his casket came through town and trailing at the end were a hundred Harleys, there to drown out the anti-war protestors. (there were none)

It hit me square in the face yesterday - this world is so full of goodness. It can be easy to focus on the problems and the torments. We get nervous about tough guys with too-long hair and beer breath. We might start to believe the teenagers are hopeless. We've learned to lock our doors at night even though we didn't have to when we were kids. There's raunchy music and reality TV and Justin Beiber may have fathered a child.

But the sky hasn't fallen yet. It's still blue on a good day, gray in the in-betweens. It's still there and we're still here and the goodness is all around us. It's waiting to be seen. It's not just in the faces of our babies who we do our best to shelter from the threat of a threat. It's in the waitress at the bar and the driver of the bus. It's everywhere we expect it to be and all the places that surprise us.

We already know about the evil that lurks in the corners of all of us. We know how we fell.

But right now, it's nice to remember how we were made.

Maybe it doesn't need to be us vs. them. Maybe when we see the good peeking out in the hearts around us, it strings us together a bit. Maybe we have things to teach each other, if we'd just take a hard look at them and see some of us reflected back.