The Trains are Calling, The Tracks are Talking

The trains follow me.

My whole life I have lived in the United States and specifically the state of Virginia. Growing up, my family traveled a lot and I’ve seen a lot beyond the valley I was raised in. If there is one thing that connects all of the states I have been to, it’s trains.

They are everywhere. They are racing from state to state delivering and packaging. They are chugging from city to city carrying people of importance, people running away, people seeking new adventures. They are crawling from town to town doing all the same.

One Memory

One memory that connects all of my travels is looking out the car window at one point or another and seeing a train. Some were slow, I imagine, walking along and talking with local turtles. Others went puffing past, their angry air spewing into the sky, screaming to the scratching metal of the tracks. Their sound resonates in every space I have existed.

This object and sound doesn’t just connect my travels but also the places I call home. Everywhere I have lived I have been able to hear a train. From Staunton to Richmond from small town to big city I have always lived within hearing distance of a train. Where I am now, if the train is strong enough, you can almost feel the rumble.

They have been appearing more. Sitting at home I hear the noise, drinking at the brewery I frequent I can see them soaring past through the trees. Driving out of town to visit a friend I ended up on a road that followed the tracks quite a ways.

Read into Things

My husband tells me I read into things and the other day we discussed whether, or more when, this is a skill and when it is a curse. When we talked about this I automatically thought of the trains.

With each auditory moment they become present I remember the first and only time I rode on a train. I adored it. Even when you know your destination the feeling of being pulled along through the country is both calming and invigorating.

There is no road to focus on or some need to find a way to keep the driver awake when you have been on the road for a while. The conductor is over in his own place with his own people. You are left purely to your thoughts, to time with the people you are traveling with, to whatever book or craft you may be enjoying.

You can let the passing houses, mountains, trees take you to your own place. Rest your eyes and enjoy the rumble of the ride as white noise. You can use your time to plan what to do when you reach wherever you are heading. You can buy a ticket to a random place or you can be purposeful with intention and visit an old friend or a new place.

The trains are calling. Something is pushing. Maybe I’m reading into things.

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