three trains (soLs)
So far today I’ve been stopped by three trains. The first was on my way to work. I could have went around, under the viaduct, but I chose to wait. I stopped for the second train when the lights began flashing, well before the arms dropped. I could have rushed and crossed, but I chose to wait. I came upon the third train as it was in the middle of its passing. I didn’t choose to wait; I was forced.
When Sam was two, he used to hope for trains on our way to my mom’s every morning. I found myself hoping against him, not wanting to be stopped by a train that usually comes to a complete halt and then blocks the road for 30 + minutes. The way around is long — over three miles out and three miles back.
One day we came upon the tracks and they were blocked. I groaned. Sam pumped his fist and said, “Yes! It’s our lucky day!” I put the car in reverse, planning to turn around when he protested. “No Mom! You can’t do it! It’s our lucky day. The train is here. Please just wait.” I stopped turning around. And then from the back seat, a softer, “Please, it’ll be good.” We waited for the train that day. His happiness was contagious.
Today I thought of Sam while I waited for trains. He doesn’t consider it an inconvenience to be forced to wait, instead it is a sign of a very good day.
When I chose to wait on the first two trains, it was easy to be content. I took a few deep breaths. I relaxed. I let my mind wonder.I appreciated the pause. But the third train, when it forced me to stop, I gritted my teeth a little, groaned, and squeezed the steering wheel. I didn’t have time to stop. I didn’t choose to stop.
A a soft voice rung in my ears. It was much too young to be filled with so much wisdom, Please just wait, it’ll be good. Isn’t this often the truth. When we just wait, it ends up being pretty good.
You know, I think I kinda like being stopped unexpectedly in the midst of the crazy-busy life.
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