Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Path Not Taken

I just learned that a good friend is taking a long train trip next month. The thought stirred memories of my own railroad experiences. Certainly, I have visited some beautiful places by airplane. And the car is an essential part of my life. A train, however, is almost magical.

Whatever the mode of transport, my imagination often makes it an interesting thing. When driving down the road, I might wonder where parallel railroad tracks lead once they split off from the freeway. Spotting even a mundane freight train from behind the wheel never fails to kick up a little curiosity.

So I find it interesting that the reverse occurred when the world spooled before my eyes from an Amtrack window. A pickup truck kicking up dust on a country road suddenly became a source of speculation. Where were they going? The interest, I think, stemmed from no hope of ever knowing. While the truth was likely not the least bit interesting, I could make up any scenario I wanted.

But usually, I simply let the question hang. Then the next car would inspire that tiny wonder all over again. Maybe it’s time to book a trip of my own. Or I could just write. Guess which I’ll probably choose?

Happy travels, dear! And thank you for the constant inspiration and encouragement.


  1. I like the idea of the dust of the pickup truck inspiring thoughts. I think it's interesting how different things can spark us, and we don't always have the same inspirations. I like, too, that you highlight mundane items because I think it's easy to overlook them.

    I personally love the train. I commute to work every day, and it's an hour one way. I take the train and a bus and love it. It gives me time to myself to write, knit, and relax. I arrive at my destination sans road rage, a fact I notice on those rare days when I do drive in.

  2. I haven't taken the train for a long time, but it's always a good experience. And, because it's the train, there's lots of room to write while you travel :) So, don't think you have to choose!

  3. I thought of your commute, Noony! And also of your suggestion, Nikki! Funny, huh? After posting I remembered that on my first long trip I wrote thank-you notes for wedding gifts. :)


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