Once again I find myself speeding away on a train, gliding gracefully along carefully laid tracks purposefully positioned, or so I lime to think, beside the most beautiful route between here and there. It's just me, my pack, my scattered thoughts, and those other travelers who also chose to go rather than stay.
I can't help but think how often I have been in such a situation with just me, my pack and strangers connected in silent suspended moments of our lives. Each of us in our own point along individual journeys, but for a few hours those points are the same, contained in the 7th car of a twelve car train headed north. The same sun beats on us through the window, the same puget sound lays idle in the window, the same snore of a sleeper floats in the air, an opportunity to be heard by all who have left the openings to their ear canals unrestricted. And although I haven't any plans to speak to any ears, open or not, I know that I am connected with these people we form each others journey. I am a part of their experience just as much as they are a part of mine. And though we sit silent and pacific we have something in common, going north.
And I wonder why it is that my main community constantly consists of such strangers. Why it is I surround myself with them as I am carried to and from friends and family. Why it is my friends and family are constantly asking "where are you now?" or "where are you headed?" my moves so frequent they cannot catch up. "I don't know what comes next" I want to say. "Ask the woman reading post secrets on her lap top next to me or the couple across the aisle who has been traveling all the way from Los Angeles. This is where life has brought us and who are we to know where it will take us tomorrow. Whether this time we stay home, get to be accompanied by a friend, a love, a similar soul, or get called, once again out on our own to be involved in the lives of those yet unknown to us, potential family. We know we are here now. We may know where we would like to be tomorrow or in a year, but above that we know that our lives are a complicated web pelt events and points of view that do not belong to us. How are we to know where the builders have laid the end of these tracks? We just know that, for now, we have to ride. And today, we are headed north."