Gary and I were in Corvallis Oregon to see our granddaughter play volleyball for Oregon State University, where she is now a student. When we looked out our hotel window, we were surprised to see hundreds of big burly men and some women on motorcycles streaming into a parking lot by the football stadium. Most were carrying American flags. By the time we started our walk to the volleyball game, the streets were lined with them and others. Most seemed peaceful; however, I decided to walk the long way around to avoid them. After the game, even more people were lining the streets.
That is when I saw a couple walking away from the large gathering toward our hotel. I was so curious, and I asked why they and all the others were here today. They told me that they had come to a memorial
service for a young soldier who had been killed in Afghanistan and to shield
his family from the congregants of an intolerant church in the Midwest who had come to disrupt the service. They and hundreds of others had come to surround the boy's family while they were there and keep them from the hateful activities of a few insensitive people, in other words, terrified people that were controlled by frightened parts of their personalities. I was touched that so many had come to this small town in Oregon, including the burly bikers, to shield and allow the grieving family to have the most loving ceremony and memorial for their son. Although I don't know the intentions of all the people that lined the streets, what I felt was loving
energy. Watching a huge number of bikers on a mission of love
made me examine the judgments of frightened parts of my personality that saw them as trouble on wheels.
However, the story doesn't end here. That afternoon I was stretching my legs at a rest stop on our way home (I see how symbolic it is that I was stretching
), when another two big men on motorcycles rode up and parked beside me. I am very friendly with and curious about people, but I have never gone up to speak with big biker guys on motorcycles. However, I wondered if they had been in Corvallis. They said no, they were just out for a ride, and in the process I realized how comfortable
I was talking to them. Then the most magical thing happened. One of the men began to
gently arrange something inside the front of his leather jacket. I didn't have a clear view at first, but then I saw the face of little dog looking at me. It looked like a tiny fox,
and it was wearing sunglasses!
This big man was carefully putting this little dog into a carrier inside his jacket so that only the face of this sweet little animal and its tiny sunglasses were showing. He told me that his dog was in heaven every time he got to ride on the motorcycle. Here is a picture of his little dog in its motorcycle heaven.
My perception was forever changed that day. Before then, a frightened part of my personality had prejudged riders of big motorcycles as people to avoid. That day, both in Corvallis and at the rest stop, I opened to my intuition
instead of acting on its judgments, and the results were wonderful.
I am now asking myself frequently, what other frightened parts of my personality are so familiar that I don't recognize them, even when they are judging other people and me?