“People get ready, there’s a train a-comin’ …”
Those words and the tune to Curtis Mayfield’s gospel-tinged civil rights anthem have been running through my head ever since my brother forwarded me a link to “The Train Ride,” a thought-provoking slide show comparing life’s journey to a train ride.
Created by a grandmother of an autistic child, “The Train Ride” points out that passengers come and go, there are stops, delays and surprises along the way and we all get off the train with more baggage than we had when we got on.
“The Train Ride” metaphor rings true to me, perhaps because I come from a railroad family or maybe because I’ve heard and enjoyed so many Johnny Cash songs. It got me to thinking about the different kind of trains I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Of those three, I’ve decided I’m more like “B” below:
A. Streamliner. Zipping through life, in a hurry to get to your destination with as few stops as possible. Focused on the destination more than what’s outside the window.
B. Mail train. Frequent stops, picking up a little something new while discarding something old at each one, taking time to absorb the uniqueness of each stop.
C. Freight train. Full throttle on the open road, pausing every now and then to rebuild. Takes on an entirely new identity at each stop.
Which kind of train best describes your life journey so far?