Some people love trains because of their amazing mechanics or the fact that these behemoths gracefully move down two thin rails. Trains can move people as well as freight. You can ride in ultimate luxury or with basic surroundings. You can feel the warm breeze on your face in an open air car drinking an iced tea or the sipping a mimosa in the cool air of a climate-controlled coach. You can go somewhere new or no where at all.
I love trains for all those things and more. The ride, at least, on my train is slow. You have a chance to actually catch your breath and enjoy the scenery. There is no wifi so the only connections you make are with other human beings. The ride is like a huge rocking chair gently swaying back and forth to the rhythm of the wheels.
You can drive to the same places we go but on a train you do not have to contend with traffic. You actually get to enjoy the sights at 19 miles an hour instead of 50. Many folks do not care for the slower pace. Let’s face it, there are always a million things to be done at any given point in time. Riding a slow train through the woods seems like a huge waste of time.
But it’s not. I don’t believe it’s healthy to be constantly on the run. Down time is something no one has time for anymore. Your soul suffers without a respite. Your body becomes stressed and learns to stay that way. I know from experience what it feels like to be in fight or flight mode all the time. Rest becomes a memory. Always feeling your heart beating out of your chest is the norm. Joy is gone.
There is no way a train ride will answer all of life’s problems, but what if you had a chance to become reacquainted with yourself again. What if you had the chance to actually relax without anything you had to do. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’m not trying to do a commercial for my train or any other. I have come to learn the value of finding that thing you love to do and gaining the benefits from that.
I work on a train. It is, by far, the most physically demanding job I have ever had and ever loved. I can have just a horrible day at work and wake up the next day excited to go to my office, a train car. It’s an unexplainable feeling. For someone like me who wants to keep moving, it is perfect.
The best part are train people. I have met the most wonderful and giving people on this train from my co-workers to the passengers. The train is what brings us all together and it’s the train that makes us feel alive. It’s more than an engine and metal. It’s a daily journey that is ever changing. It can make you happy, make you laugh and, at times, make you cry. Riding the rails has healed me deep into my soul. And the people I have met have touched my heart.
I am forever changed.