They say it's a terrible thing to see a grown man cry, but when you see a whole roomful of tough-as-jerky, dried-up old cowpokes who never talk except to say hello, good-bye, and excuse me, all broken down with weeping it's a kind of relief. That day in the auditorium there were a lot of very tough people, men and women, choked up.
...Other people stood to speak. The preacher talked about Jesus, but was honest enough to allow that, though Frank took Christ as his saviour, he was no "Religionist" and never went to church, but worked on Sundays like any other rancher any other day. He never needed any church but the one he rode over on his horse.
After the audience filed out I sat as the pallbearers loaded the flag-draped coffin into the hearse, and then the room was empty except for Frank's old saddle up on the stage, an old, burnt-up lariat coiled loosely and hung over the high, old-fashioned pommel and saddle horn. All around it were flowers.
- James Galvin, The Meadow
Old Buechner said to take notice at tears, to follow them for they reveal much, if not most, about you and who you are and what you're here for. I read this passage from Galvin's redolent book this morning and sat and wept, just wept. I don't rightly know why, but I just know that this grown man cried and while it was terrible in one sense, it was a kind of relief in another. As I've had a few moments to trace the tracks on my cheeks, I've sensed the tears have something to do men and toughness and Jesus and horses and the tender land...and no doubt, my father. I pray this sense will stay present with me throughout this day, and that all around it there might be flowers.