Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trainward with the Sun

   It was a dark quiet ride through sleepy valleys and misted hills.   The waning crescent moon shone through the outlined orb of its containment as faint stars salted the midnight blue morning. The station was brightly lit with a garden of overgrown floor plants, where occasional sad blooms mirrored the faces of an array of seasoned commuters, mostly working class.
     The train pulled into the station and we mounted the rust laden steps with the jaunty step of tourists and chose our seats in the 'quiet' car, such labeled as a reminder to turn off cell phones and whisper only out of necessity. With a low blast of melancholy horn, as if weary from monotonous use, we settled ourselves as the train, replete with coffee clutching and parceled passengers, did the same. They looked vaguely familiar.
     Dawn teased slowly with rosy wisps upon the veiling of grey clouds that followed our journey by way of an eastward facing window. Rolling hills cloaked in chill dawn gave up its frozen fields in fits of frost. Ragged leaves of indecisive colors of Autumn solemnly awaited the rise of sun to drape their garments with bursts of bold-hearted color. At one sweep of valley a small herd of deer was spotted, some leaping while others grazed under a frosty field of matted grass, the early likeness of a winter lake.
     Around a curved bend we headed in a more easterly direction where a hewn lumber pile offered up white tufts of smoking heat against the chill. Modest farms with prim and just saltbox homes and cheery red barns mingled with the more rustic and weather beaten dwellings of families and beasts. Wooly black bulls, blanketed horses, and a scattering of goats grazed unconcerned as we rode by.
     Suddenly an attentive horn blared and soon the flashing of worn grey metal flashed by the window with a speed that seemed twice that of our own. Glimpses of the whitening sky and meadowed landscape were seen as glinted images through the closeness of the metallic screen of a passing train.
     As the stops were announced by an unseen spokesman, more familiar passengers ambled down the quiet corridor of the train.
Faces in mundane repetition of the morning commute focused on the task of finding a suitable seat partner. The seated politely made way or offered their own window seat for the newcomers. It dawned on me at a moments notice of hat, hairstyle, backpack, briefcase, or pocketbook, why the expressionless faces looked familiar... it wasn't really the uninspired faces at all. Rather, it was the stereotyped nuances of baggage and apparel that adorned the commuters that revealed the familiarity of character judgements
that I had been collecting for a long time since.
     The sun burnt its arrival at the edge of a stern cloud and reached its fiery gaze directly into my own, shedding some much needed daylight on my worn and outmoded conclusions.

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