As I start this post, I am sitting at a train station in Sacramento, California. I am traveling by train between Olympia, Washington, and San Francisco, California. This is my first extended train trip. I've done a couple of short jaunts on Amtrak...and a few day trips in Europe. Now, I feel like I"m sold on taking the train whenever possible.
Most of my life is "hurry, hurry, hurry." Maybe it is that way for most people, too. There are times when hurrying is efficient---take the freeway instead of the scenic route...fly cross-country instead of drive. But for most of the last 24 hours, I've had time to let someone else worry about the "driving," the meals, and the clean up. Me? I've been sitting in a little compartment, watching the world go by outside my window. Some of it has been beautiful. There's been snow covered mountains, rivers, rainbows, and sunshine. At night, tucked in bed with the train gently rocking, and the constellations the only visible items out the window, it was like floating in space---the path of the train altering the positions. The midnight blue of the cloudy sky I woke up to early this morning, lit only by moonlight underneath, was a wonderful way to start the day. Other parts of the journey, however, are not so scenic. I have seen lots of backyards that seem to be the place where old cars go to die and many abandoned homes.
I will be in San Francisco in about 2 hours. I am looking forward to the conference, for sure, but now I am looking forward to the journey home---knowing that the train will be a quiet place to reflect on what I've learned and what I hope to do.