Over the holidays we took the train up to Seattle to visit my mom, and it was a throwback to a much simpler, more enjoyable form of travel. It reminded me of when I was a teen, and you could go anywhere and do anything, all on your own, independently.
There aren’t big security lines at the train. Nobody pats you down, or scans you, or x-rays your innards. The train itself is also remarkably freeing: you can eat, drink, walk around, sleep. You don’t have to sit in a sardine can, unable to move.
As we traveled through the heavily flooded areas of Oregon and Washington, it was fascinating to witness the changes in the region: the slight difference in temperature as we moved from south to north, the slight difference in environment, habitat, vibe...
The train reminded me of how we journey through life: making our way, doing our regular simple things. And then there’s a stop, and somebody gets on or gets off. And there’s people on the train we observe and talk to and notice, and these people are on the journey with us.
Then at some point, it’s time for us to get off, and continue on the journey without the souls we were traveling with. Our paths diverge.
Yet just like life, we’re together for the duration: in the same train car, a space smaller than a living room, breathing and living our lives, right next to each other, making our way to the next step.
You’ve traveled with others this way, whether or not you’ve been on a train. The people in your community, school, company. The people you run into at the grocery store, the coffee shop, the gym. Your family, your friends, the people you’re holding space with, for a few hours, for a few years, for decades.
Doing your journey together, until it’s time for the next stop.
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