Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Train Ride"

I've just returned home from an afternoon coffee date with some lady friends of mine. I sort of lolly gagged on my way home, stopping at a local store to look at yarn and things I don't need. It is a rainy day today. I did eventually convince myself that I was on the verge of spending money I didn't have and should go home. I grabbed the 7-Up I promised my husband, as he has been sick since Thursday this week. Then, I strolled out into the chilly rain.

There used to be a time in my life that rainy days made my day. I don't know what it was about a rainy day, but you could always guarantee that I would be most happy and most creative on a rainy day. Some time over the last year, something has shifted inside of me, though, and I don't so much like the rainy days anymore. They make me feel awfully nostalgic. I do, however, like how the rain makes me think.

As I was driving out of town today, on my way home, I caught up to a train, not a people-carrying train. It was just a train with cars and tanks, for commercial purposes I suppose. As I caught up to it, I was driving fast enough that I just continued to pass the train cars with ease, and this saddened me. A feeling deep inside of me was telling me to stay at pace with the train cars. And that is just what I did. Something about this train was majestic today.

I was enamored with the wheeled black cylinders. This train had been traveling in the rain long enough that it was completely wet. Isn't it funny how water on surfaces changes the appearance of them? The rain made this train look as though it had a fresh coat of paint, as if it were brand new.

As I'm riding along with this train, I can start to hear the subtle clack-clack of the wheels on the tracks through my car windows. In the background now, I hear the rustic vocals and the acoustic sound of Anna Nalick. Rainy days are perfect days to hear Anna Nalick. Suddenly, this train was reminding me of my life.

Sometimes it seems I slowed down, and the train cars began to pass me. As one train car would pass me, there was a slight tug at my heart. "Don't let it pass you by," I could hear my heart saying to me. So, I would ebb gently forward to meet my train car again.

Sometimes, I would speed up just enough that my train car was just behind me. "Don't get ahead of yourself," my heart would say to me. So, I would let off the gas pedal just enough to meet my train car again.

Each time I met with my train car, I found it beautiful. The rainy sheen made the black shine like a metal stallion.

Sometimes, I simply drove along next to my train car, allowing the clack-clack to become sweet music to my ears. Sometimes, I would turn my head sideways just to get a glance of the beautiful black stallion. Those times, I would see the reflection of the slowly melting snow, see the reflection of life on the ground. Sometimes, I would find myself singing along with the song:

Forever love
Say you'll love
Digame, Digame
Tell me so
I can hold you in my soul
If I go
I'll know

It was a beautiful moment as we ebbed closer to my rural home. The train and I moving ever forward, never looking back. We both pulled into my rural town at the same moment. I turned on to the street and slowed to a stop when I met the tracks. The train moved so quickly past me. I was not sad to see it go, just happy to witness its majesty. The last train car pulled up the rear and passed in front of my eyes.

I could have driven next to that train all day long, just to see life through its eyes, but I was content to stop where I did. That train is my life, ever moving forward, but for now, I have stopped where I am supposed to be.

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