It’s true. I dare you to say otherwise. You are on this train from the moment you are. Whether you ride with your head buried in a seat – in which case you miss most of it, or all – or you occasionally climb to the very top from where you see the mountains and the seas you roll by, you are on it and will be there for a while.
When you put your head out the window you get to feel the wind, the sun will burn your cheeks and then a storm might come and build a wild nest with your hair. You’ll know the taste of seasons… You will feel alive.
Thoughts will grow, take off flying, free and forgetful of how new their wings are, how pristine the air they plow, how daring those loop-the-loops are… If you let them be. If you let yourself be.
Life is a train. It moves fast, but it stops every now and then, and you get time, more or less, to touch the ground, to see around, to lie in tall grass and breathe. You get to see the sky and the clouds. Until you hop on the train again, because it is time to go. It always is. Time is adamant that way. You hop on the train, but now you hold the memory of blue skies and traveling clouds, and you find a new purpose for a while: to see them again. And again.
You find the ladder that takes you to the roof of the train car you’re in. And people – there could be one, or a few, or many – might say “Don’t do that, it’s dangerous, you could fall…” And you know that you will not, somehow you know. You know you will get to see the skies again, the traveling clouds and you will try to match that to what you knew about skies and clouds you knew only to discover that it’s better every time, because you’ve grown in the meantime. You understand colors and textures and freedom of being a lot more every time. And up there you remember the tall grass you were lying in that day when you got to see the clouds. How soothing and necessary to have them both, you will think. To know that you are somewhere in between the grassy dirt and the sky, safe from closed spaces and unafraid…
Life is a train. You can bury yourself in a seat forever, never daring to get up and look for more, seeing fragments of this and that only, gleaning colors and fleeting images of this and that, trying to put that big puzzle called “The meaning of life” together, but fragments will not do. It gets frustrating and when it does, you know that you have an invitation in front of you.
To look for the rest of the pieces that will make your puzzle complete and that means stepping out of that comfortable seat and keeping your eyes open. Or you can get up just enough to force the window open and feed the invitation to the wind.
Life is a train and you’re on it. Make the best of your ride. Be curious, be daring, be open to feel the wind and the rain; to see the moon, to never be afraid of moon-less nights and, to taste the freedom of sleeping under the stars at least once. You might get to taste the fear of almost falling off when you’re only holding on with one hand; it’ll teach you to hold on.
Above all, you will find out that though you are the only one to decide how tomorrow will be – true! – you are not in control of the train. And why would you? Being in charge of it all is an illusion. You are in charge of the day’s ride, and tomorrow’s. And the days to follow. Yours. You. Buried in a seat or climbing to the roof every now and then. Life happens and you’re in it. Perhaps that is all you need to know to make the ride worthwhile.