By David J. Weeres
It happened again yesterday.
I was out for a ride running a few errands, heading for home. A case of motor oil strapped down on the back seat, three gallons of antifreeze in the bikes trunk, and a couple of Hoover vacuum cleaner belts in my pocket. The rural stretch of two lane I was on was a rolling twisting series I knew well, and I was moving through them at a brisk pace. That’s when I saw it, up ahead, a hundred yards or so, off in the high side of the road ditch on my right . . . a bouquet of flowers. I relaxed my grip on the throttle and let the springs unwind the engine, coasting now. It was more than one bouquet; I could see better now moving within a hundred feet or so. There are reds, yellows, and white flowers. And a small wooden cross. But that was not what I was looking for as I glided by. I say out loud to myself, “Do not stop no matter what . . . Do not stop!”
And then, I see what I was looking for: As I passed by, ever so quite, out of the corner of my eye next to the flowers in the side bank of the road was a door. The door was an old barn door about three feet by three feet made of the wide vertical barn planks so common in this area. Like a storm shelter, but it is not, and it is out of place. It was hinged by two large hinges attached to the ground and swung open exposing the backside of the door. And next to the door . . . a hole in the ground. Like a large rabbit hole, only the sun didn’t penetrate in beyond the entry. It was opaque but dark, and I couldn’t see in. I know I was coasting by for just a second, but time slowed, and I saw it clearly. I still shiver thinking about it. This hasn’t been the first time.
And just like that I’m past it, but this time I caught a whiff of something. I wear a full face helmet with the visor up most days and the aromas tend to linger and swirl in front of my face. It was the bouquet of flowers; I instinctively inhaled deeper taking the remnants with me. Black Eyed Susan’s I think, my favorite.
As I shift down and roll on the throttle my mind is clear of what I saw again . . . and I slow my pace. Maybe if I think of only the flowers. Yup, that’s it, think of just the flowers.
David Weeres hails from central Minnesota and has a unique way of reminding us to “Slow down, and Smell the Flowers”, but not to slow apparently. David holds a Masters in Aviation Safety and a Doctorate in Education. He also sits on the Minnesota Motorcycle Advisory Task Force.