Wednesday, July 18

The risks we take to live...

This morning, I was up before the crows. I had planned to get out early for some sunrise picture taking before heading off to work. Instead, I journaled a little, still enjoying some lingering euphoria from the BMW rally and hoping to capture some additional thoughts about the event--yes, I know, I do far too much navel gazing (I really do know this about me). But my experience over the weekend was personally noteworthy as I tend to gravitate away, rather than toward groups. So to have such a grand time occupying roughly the same space with nearly 8000 people is huge for me. And, I had fun too.

But while feeling the remaining endorphins, I came across another post rally news story that gave way to sad reflection. On Monday, the Rourks, a motorcycle couple with a sidecar was on their way home from the rally when they collided with a car and were killed.

Life is full of risks. I know that for some people, non-riders particularly, riding a motorcycle is a crazy, unnecessary risk. Why we do it is grist for a future blog entry. This post is about how a wonderful event for some can turn so easily into a personal tragedy for others. Motorcycle riders, if nothing else, must be an incredibly faithful lot. Every time we mount the bike we have faith that the ride will start and end safely. We have faith that our skills will prevail over the incredibly thoughtless things we see in the behavior and attitude of our fellow humans. We have faith that our ever-evolving riding skills will allow us to successfully manage any unanticipated road challenges. Even the wild, seemingly death-wish, daredevil riders have faith that their flagrant riding style will not be a death knell.

Whether on two wheels or four, we hope that people will drive carefully, that they will stay in their lane, that they will behave thoughtfully. The reality often deviates from our faith. But what's a person to do but live life fully in spite of it all?

The unsettling news about the couple, as disturbing as it is, made me wonder about their lives, what they must have been like, their personalities, their courage, and their faith. What brought them joy? Given the couple's journey to WI from West Palm Beach, FL, they must have loved motorcycling to ride the 1,438 miles one way. In West Bend, they spent time enjoying the company of new and old friends; and, if they had half the fun I did, they left on a high note, filled with warm, shared memories. Life really is short. We should all try to live it well. I hope the Rourks lived well.