The farmer's name was Jed. A farmer named Jed, I can't write a story that perfect. He lives outside a small town in northwest Iowa. You can find him behind the dust and rows every Autumn. You can find him chuggin' another red sunset and burning up another golden sunrise. I saw him on the road one day and I know he knew me. He gave me two fingers. They lifted gently off the steering wheel and then he was gone. I gave him the same sixty-mile-an-hour greeting at that exact moment. Why two fingers? That's how it's done, you don't need to know why. Three fingers meant you didn't understand the vibrations felt by a Northwest Iowa farmer. Three fingers mean you didn't get it. The two finger wave has nothing to do with individualism or unique personalities. They're not derived from rebellion or defiance. Two finger waves are a time honored tradition, a connection meaning, "I'm, free and I live free. I've the strength pawns could never comprehend." They mean they're not the citified junket waving hands and feet and head and hair chaotically if not erratically and joyfully at whomever. Jed feels there's more power in self-control, more strength within subtleties. Jed could probably do with a little more expression, but two fingers wield a lifetime of it. Nothing to prove... just have to know it.
If you wave ignorantly (your entire hand, for instance), It just means you've got a lot to learn about the vibrations of an enormous and free life, and the power of two fingers. The air smells better, feels fresher and rejuvenates robustly on free land. The dirt feels less like dust and more like potential. It is after all the beginning of our creation.
I didn't need chores to find a red sun behind his dust. I needed two fingers. Jed simply trusted that I knew that my meal that day might've come by him and them. Understand another without words.
I'm sure he does well enough, but you wouldn't know it by the rust draining from his Ford 150. I guess maybe he should ask for help more often. He sometimes takes on milking jobs to get by the winter. He gets by. And he lives free. The motor behind the farmers rusty paradise took him through two hundred and fifty thousand and some odd miles. Wisdom teaches that some miles aren't always clean and shiny, but you can count on them none-the-less.
Dan called me saying he fixed my motorcycle. Thirteen days and 9 1/2 hours. That's how long I'd been without it. Dan beamed for me. Really. He did. He's a biker. He gets it. I felt exuberant.
My ride doesn't supply 60% of the nations GDP. The shop gained some wealth by my misfortune, but nothing about my motorcycle feeds a hungry nation... but not everything has to. All I did was slice the wind and I became Jed, the free man. Freedom is the snap of an umbilical chord. Freedom is leaving the life of childhood and finding your place. Freedom is a clash between the heart and the heartless. And a free man chooses to thrive and learn no matter the journey. Freedom is the pursuit. The air is fresher and cleaner and more robust.
Those of us on bikes breathe the rushing air, a gush of freedom.
I don't know why God trusts us enough to pound us with burdens. It is the burden of the wise to give others all the time they need. Many have never learned the art of leaving, of being cut. Those who have sleep and wake up the next morning wondering where it all went and move on anyway. Life like trucks and motorcycles vibrates underneath us and the wind splashes our faces bending the skin until it hurts. Journeymen find exhilaration from the pain and joy from life. Vibration and wind proves life is. Jed...his fingers are dirty, having lived in the dust from whence they came. Dirt is where he finds his purpose and grit is where he understands a free life. Some people get hands dirty and others write about them. None-the-less, umbilical-less hands thrive with sin and integrity.
The road was bumpy and magnificent, and my bike purred. Ridin' bikes is like the ultimate skinny dip. Layered burdens tear away, and all that's left between you and God is creation and death.
I'm working on a project right now, as we speak. I've got a long ways to go. I suppose we all do; have a long ways to go, I mean. The world is wide and noisy, but rumbles and vibrations and motion pare all things down to a still small voice, and fingers.
I love riding and I loved riding away from the fix-it shop. Another biker rode toward me, hopefully not to the shop. I suspect not. His hand moved from the bars and dropped to his side...at the right moment one finger pointed outward toward the ground, the biker's greeting. His one finger wave exists in a crowd of a million one finger waves and I returned the favor. It's just a one-finger wave really. Just saying "hi", just letting me know I'm out there. That's what I said, he or she let's me know I'm out here. Car drivers can be an unobservant lot. I'm not anymore. It's amazing how many close calls are made because the car driver can't or won't see me or my motorcycle. Bikers just want each other to know they're seen... makes the tired vigilant feel safer, welcome.
Either way, It's another wave, the biker's code and I know it full well. "You've come from somewhere, I get that," he said, "Take in the wind, welcome to the journey, and enjoy the road...you're a free man now." Like understanding the voice of God, I'm challenged to listen without words.