On the train from Providence to New York City, I think of my seventeen year old self on the TGV hurtling through the French countryside, my cheek pressed up against the glass of the window, crying from homesickness. I spent the entire trip from Avignon to Paris gazing out the window watching the blur of yellow sunflowers and longing for home.
Train journeys bring up melancholia like no other mode of transportation for hopeless romantics like me. The serpentine steel capsule a metaphor for the journey of our lives and how quickly we travel along our track, propelling away from our past and toward our future. We sit in our compartment for those few hours of the trip with time suspended, forced to reflect upon where we've been and where we're going. Even the sights out of the window flash by without allowing us a distraction from the inner journey.
Today, my forty-one year old self gazes out the window watching the blur of the ocean with a longing, but the perspective has changed. Suddenly, there is more life I've left behind me on the tracks then there is ahead. At this stage, I press my cheek against the glass and wish for second chances at things, to re-stage conversations that ended long ago, and wonder what might have been if... Now as I look ahead, I measure the length of the track left to calculate how much longer I have to travel. I question how I want to spend my time traversing the precious miles left.
Here I sit in my train car with time suspended. All the ghosts of the past, present, and future traveling with me.