Here it comes! See that light down at the end of the tracks? That’s the Zepher train. It came all the way from Chicago, to California. It’s carrying all sorts of people from all walks of life. Honestly, though, there’s just one passenger on that train I care about. My daughter. She injured herself and couldn’t drive, so she took a 3-hour train ride to spend the weekend with us.
She could have spent her weekend relaxing at home, healing her injury, playing with her cat. But she chose to give that all up and bring hugs and love and support to her parents. She couldn’t provide physical help — a cast and crutches precluded her from helping with the laundry or doing the dishes or running to the grocery store. Instead, she brought with her a backpack filled with love. A dose of emotional support to stoke our fires and keep us chugging along for another week.
As my husband slept, I got to sit with my daughter and do nothing but talk and laugh, and perhaps shed a few tears. She got to lean on me, and I got to lean on her. Two full days of “just slow that train down and be in the moment”. That isn’t easy to do, by the way. We are so used to “moving”.
Just like that train. As it pulled to a stop, it let out a few huge puffs and snorts. Steam bellowed from somewhere below. The last blow of its horn. A few groans and moans – squealing wheels, and finally silence. This is not what a train is supposed to do. It is supposed to move. So it seems awkward sitting there, not moving. You can almost feel its impatience.
The conductor stepped down onto the platform. “Excuse me, have you seen a lovely young woman on crutches?”, I smiled. “Why yes, she’s getting off the train right down there.” I looked in the direction he was pointing, just in time to see her step onto the platform.
Just what the doctor ordered.