If I lived a life of leisure with unending funds, I'd spend a significant portion of my time on trains measuring time by the world speeding past, reading novels, people-watching, and making sure that my food wasn't "train-food". Give me good cheese, fruit, crusty bread and something to drink and I'll be very, very happy.
Right now we are traveling slowly past a small creek, happy cows, the lightest of raindrops sliding enviously along my overlarge picture window, caressing my thoughts and my tired soul. I've seen a field of a dozen or so egrets, spaced out in the verdant mossy wetness and a bizarre, completely out of the way (and next to the RR tracks) half dozen, funky, small and mildly dilapidated houseboats (that make me wish I had one somewhere as a secret hide-out for my alter-ego/inner spy). Riding on the train, you get to see some places that offer a glimpse of the Pacific NW before people ground it to civilization under their thoughtless boot heels. It makes the constant sadness for the unraveling natural world slow, and it transports me to a place of peace and reflection.
What is it about train travel that comforts to such depths of my soul? Why spend immoral amounts of money on anti-depressants, anti-uplifters, anti-anxieties and anti-levelheaders? Just let me do this twice a week each month. Have I mentioned that the Portland train station is transporting in and of itself? Arched, cathedral like ceiling with wooden, double sided "pews" shiny and smooth from travelers coming and going, sleeping, waiting. The place evokes a reverence that I think others would mock if they knew that I'd like to install an old pipe organ and sing 'A Mighty Fortress'. Everyone turn to page 49 of your hymnals.
Last night, I delved into the beginning of a pile of books I'd narrowed my Spring Break reading down to, planning to give each 10 or so pages to tell me if they were next or not. I stayed awake for the first chapter of 'The Terror'. SO much better than I expected. Next, I nearly made it through the first short story in 'Fragile Things'. Yummmmm.
I spent the first 30 minutes of this train ride (mostly) reading a bit more of the last of the four YA novels I was assigned to read for our teacher version of the school's Battle of the Books (Minerva Clark Gets a Clue). On the train I enjoyed it more: I've been putting off finishing it for some time. If you're an adult reader of YA fiction, I give better than average rating to 'Alphabet of Dreams' and 'The Eyes of the Emperor'. Not the best ever, but solidly good. I'm putting off reading the pedagogical text I'm supposed to report back on after break. Don't wanna right now.
I feel like Seattle is holding its breath, or maybe that's me as I hurtle and rumble toward it at varying speeds. We're old friends. I'll get an embrace of gentle rain and visit a smattering of spots that I jealously claim belong to me.
Now if I can only get Mr. Wheeker to take this trip with me (how can he not appreciate the magic of train travel?!), life will be complete.
Oh. Did I mention that after dropping me off, he came back 15 minutes later, parked and rushed in to deliver my iPod just as I was getting ready to board? His sexy, thoughtful, intelligent perfection is almost too much to bear. I'll carry the burden. Poor me.
Secret Smile, Semisonic