Yellow school buses.
Graffitied dumpsters and gravel roads.
Telephone wires and clotheslines.
Lumberyards and silos.
Heaps of autymobiles.
Rusty swing sets and sailboats sleeping.
Smoking bonfires and white-fenced pastures.
Tractors and trees and rivers and oceans.
Train travel. There is nothing like it.
If you get on board in Boston heading south sit on the right-hand side to have an uninterrupted view of the Atlantic Ocean. Any compass can tell you that but it feels like a secret. The clarity of thought I stumble upon with a glimpse of the wide open sea from my polyester, cushioned Amtrak seat catches me off guard every time. All your hopes and dreams and the possibility of it all overwhelms you with distinct suddenness. All your questions of why and how and why not and when bombard you with a peace that does surpass your understanding. And then in just a moment it flits by your window and you cross over another border and pass in and out of the next tunnel with no chance to look back. The landscapes constantly change. The backsides of towns and the lives lived there -one can only wonder and marvel that this world really does exist and we are such small, little things.
Sure there are delays and dirty bathrooms and the always grumpy cafe car employee ready to heat up your Hebrew National hot dog and roll your eyes as you try to decide between a Cliff Bar and Nature Valley Oats and Honey. You might even for a second believe you are behind the Iron Curtain travelling on the Trans-Siberian railway when they tell you that bagels are unavailable this day. I wonder which ruler is feasting at our expense.
But it's a wonderful thing this train, with leaky cars and a scattering of wet seats. Kings and Queens traveled this way with crowds lined up to wave them along. It's a lot easier to imagine your royal lineage here than from the coach car at the back of a plane or leaning into the back seat to reach a fallen toy. And these children I'm travelling with -I can even imagine at certain vague moments that they are fellow passengers whose destination is unknown. :)