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.


  1. Our town recently hosted the funeral of a local hero, killed in Afghanistan and those riders where present. Townspeople lined the streets between the church where the family gathered to celebrate his life and the cemetery where he was buried, some three miles. I wept openly at the respect that people paid this hero and his family.

  2. I get it. Every single time I hear children sing the national anthem, I weep. But when my own babes were born? Nary a tear.
    Oh, and you had me at the lilacs. Where's the scratch n sniff blog when you need it?

  3. Yes. I love this, Shannan. Remembering how we were made.

  4. I love when a random act of goodness takes me by surprise. I always look up and thank God for that moment in my life. These are good reminders...there is so much good in the world, in every minute of our lives.

    very beautifully written ~ xo

  5. This is kind of off the subject......are you guys thinking about attending General Conference this year? Al shared with me that you were reading Brandon's book.....I'm in the midst of Tangible Kingdom (Hugh Halter) right now. Something in this post brought my mind to that book....and then I thought about Hatmaker and on and on. I wish I would have had a chance to stay and chat after class today ~ Let me know when you ready for a night out with the Girls!

  6. Yes, yes, yes.
    (And I can ugly cry with the best of 'em.)

  7. I used to be all afraid of the motorcycle crew. But then, my Daddy grew out a ponytail and bought a Harley and my Mama slapped on some leather chaps and crawled up behind him. Since then that crew has been at every family funeral we've had- invited or not. They're a loving bunch and they have each other's backs. It's enough to make you cry even on the toughest of days. Can you believe that MY Daddy and Mama are a part of that? I know, I must have been adopted.


  8. Reading this post about you crying made me cry. True story. Hugs , from one crier to another.

  9. you must have known that i was complaining about our neighbors yesterday. seven young guys live next door. they have big, loud potty mouths and blast their music in the middle of naptime. they need Jesus and so do i.

  10. Gonna take a good, hard look...thanks sister friend.

  11. Bikers - as in cyclists make me cry. We have a local bicycle club that rides past our house every Wednesday evening and Sunday. I cry. All the pretty colors - the whir of the tires - I get all misty thinking of the dedication to the sport - I just love it! I cry at parades too Shabs - and I get teased so much for it - but I don't care! There IS so much goodness in the world - and beauty, and love and I choose to focus on that instead of the devilment.

  12. Bikers have made me cry and laugh too. One year at Christmas time we heard quite a few bikes go by before going outside to see what was going on. Lo and behold, it was all these bikers, male and female on their hogs loaded down with gifts for needy children. Hundreds of bikers drove by, we waved at each other. It was wonderful and exciting. They were meeting at a park that was close to us. Bikers used to scare me until my husband and I got to know a few. They are human just like we are, they just live a different lifestyle. God loves us all.

    I love following you here. I am blessed reading about your life, joys, sorrows, trials and tribulations, your every day happenings.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  13. Our town has the biggest 4th of July parade in the state of Illinois, and every year I get choked up when the Veterans come by on their float (and, of course, the motorcycles are there too). They are so old now, so frail, and so wrinkly, but they gave the best years of their lives so that we can have the best of ours. I can't even stand to think of it. So, yes, I'm right there with you, sister. A puddle.

  14. My parents are bikers, Dad's Harley has "yes, Lord, we will ride with you" painted on the gas tank. The two of them will forever remain a mystery unto me.

    "Right now, it's nice to remember how we were made." Oh my. I'll need the rest of my life and perhaps the first half of eternity to even begin to tap into that. I love that whole thought, FPFG, LOVE. It will be simmering in my head and heart for a very long while...

  15. i have no explanation for the 45 times a day that i tear up, but you are SO right on here and i need to be reminded of it DAILY.
    when i start to judge, or look down on someone, God gently nudges me and says, "I died for them, too."
    end of discussion, Lord.
    and i love it, because only He can turn my icky dark heart and see something beautiful and hope filled.

  16. My parents are Harley riders! I so love that they were there to drown out protesters. I am more happy that there were non. A maple syrup festival sounds like fun!!!

  17. It happens to me as well.....esp. at the airport. I remember my family asking e if I knew the people, I didn't, but I could feel their pain.
    I think we all need to stop and smell the flowers and remember how we are blessed. I think so many people are too busy and stressed to enjoy the things that make us happy. Also to take the time to be a friend or citizen. I think you are that kind of a person that does stop and smell the flowers.......goodness I didn't say that because of your blog title, really.

  18. I'm confused by the anti war protester comments. I don't live in the USA, but rather a country that supports peace making operations in war torn areas, so maybe I don't understand the sentiment expressed here. Being anti-war to me means being anti-murder; then amazing young men like the one you've described wouldn't be gone and we wouldn't have to line the streets in tears.

    Took a quote from your own blog to reinforce my thinking...

    "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."

  19. I feel a kindred spirit in here somewhere. My sweet mother cries at parades, too. She taught me well. She also cries at other venues, like when the symphony orchestra swells and falls. She taught me well. As for the fire trucks, absolutely crying material for both me and my mother, as I am married to a retired fire captain who nearly lost his life in the line of duty years ago, and who just happens to be my mother's favorite "son."

    So ... from one crier to another, I get it, and I loved this post.

  20. Loved this post.

    I agree it's way too easy to look at the horribleness & I think I alleviate part of that for myself by giving myself "news breaks". It's interesting when you do (Dr. Andrew Weil recommends this & I started doing it years ago)because the important stuff still manages to make its way to you, while the awful, the disgusting & downright sick can be avoided.

    I had an ex boyfriend's mom tell me this in my 20's: "If you just look to the sun like a flower and follow the light, you will be okay." Simple, but true & good advice.

    Have a blessed Monday!


    Flower Update:

    My peonies are about to burst! this is crazy for MN.

  21. Parades always make me tear up too. Especially loud engines and marching bands. Definitely the marching bands.

  22. Love this post. I absolutely love looking for the good in everyone (ok, so sometimes that can be kind of tricky, I'll admit..and I won't even mention that person who glared at me in the line at wal-mart b/c my kid has really healthy lungs and can hit unbelievably high notes) It's all good.

  23. Okay, I get the whole crying over the bikers and firefighters. I am known to cry at school field trips during demonstrations by firefighters and police officers. It just gets me when I see someone use their gifts for the good of others that way. Thanks so much for visiting my place today. I admire you and your writing and it was a bit of a rainbow in my day to see you there in the comments.

  24. i LOVE being from a small town.
    The Mountain Laurel Festival is coming up...I can't wait to go and people watch....

    good is all around us...i surely need the reminder to find it and thank God for it.

    I'll be finding all kinds of goodness at the upcoming festival...funnel cakes...people of all sizes and shapes and colors...children jumping in jump houses....and seeing miss mountain laurel crowned queen....what awesomeness awaits us!

  25. You speak a rational truth here!!! Hurray! There is so much good in the world (bad too, but I believe in the power to reap what we sow). Let us focus on the good and the good will become the norm:)
    I choked up at the last two parades I was at. I think it was the power of community spirit and watching my own children catching it.