It’s amazing what a simple change of scenery can do. My last blog post was about finding unexpected beauty all around us. In this post I share my observations from a journey I took recently by train, and how it changed my perspective.
We traveled from Truro to Montreal and back on an economy seat on Via Rail. We had made the drive (and found parking in Montreal) one too many times, and because we were dropping our dog off in Antigonish, it made sense to take the train from Truro.
Taking the train is the opposite of rushed travel. I found having the time to knit, read, write in my journal and chat with my husband deeply relaxing. (I must admit the sleeping in a chair was something I’m not keen to repeat.)
We got off the train in Montreal just in time to shower and head to the wedding of a young woman we have known since she was tiny. The next day we strolled (and ate and drank) around Montreal with the parents of the bride. That evening we picked up a roast chicken dinner and boarded the train for home.
I’ve always loved the low, long sound of train whistles. It reminds me of people going places. On this trip we got to hear the whistle many times, and it never got old.
We saw some spectacular scenery – wide expanses of fields, lakes, rivers, marshes and lots of green spaces. I even saw one heron, my favourite bird. What I enjoyed just as much as the wilderness was the glimpses of the everyday as we passed through small towns. Generally the side of the house or business that faces the train tracks is not the one that is spruced up. I loved seeing the tricycles in the yard, the Christmas lights still on someone’s balcony, a person sitting having their morning coffee. It felt like an intimate glimpse into the lives of people and communities. This is not what you see when you fly or even drive the highways.
Passing through community after community I had the real sense of the distance we were traveling. I loved seeing the railway stations with the name of each town or village. Traveling by train made me think about how the journey is part of the experience. And it has me wondering how to carry this feeling of the journey being just as important as the goal into my everyday life.