Choices: Answer the Call of the Train?

The topic for discussion this month is: CHOICES.

I picked it because I’m a slacker. I CHOSE to make NO resolutions for this new year. Perhaps the lesson here is: if I make a choice, I have to be prepared for the consequences which in this case is guilt.

This pithy, but trite epiphany came to me four days into 2010 as I punched my pillow into a softer mass, then I lay, mentally demanding sleep to overtake me. What came instead was a familiar, nostalgic sound.

Around 2am, the whistle of a faraway train rolled through valleys and fog, drifting past my darkened windows.

On previous nights, the sound has always made me pause and listen if I were still awake.  The tracks aren’t nearby,  and I don’t hear the whistle during the day. But when folks are tucked in their beds and cars parked  in driveways, then the night is free to carry the melody of the locomotive slicing through the next town.

I wondered if there were passengers. Were they traveling this late because Uncle Martin was ill and they’re trying to get to him? Was someone else awake too, kinked up in a seat too short for their legs with an unsupportive gap at their lower back?  Maybe they’re slouched at the bar, watching their beer make waves in their plastic cup.

What slipped through my thoughts next, surprised me. It was a prayer.   “Please help the people on the train carry their burdens.”

I’m not one of those sweet, soft-spoken women of faith. I tried, but I keep migrating toward the crabby, let’s-get-it-all-out-there-and-be-real-about-it believer-type. I figure that God made me and knew what He was doing, so I’m going with the flawed me.

This supplication wasn’t exactly a new development. I toss out a request when I see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle. “Lord, please help whoever that fire truck is going to rescue.”  Then one day I saw an ambulance stop, turn around, drive a few blocks, stop, turn around again. They were lost. I figured I should add drivers and EMTs to any requests for divine  emergency assistance.

So after the night train to somewhere whistled, I decided to make it a habit to answer the  haunting call with a prayer. It made me smile, even though I couldn’t sleep.

Especially when I realized my choice just made a resolution for the new year.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Choices, Hope, Life, Sleepless Nights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Choices: Answer the Call of the Train?

  1. Barb says:

    Interesting that so many of us don’t do resolutions. Maybe it’s because we break them? But I love the idea of our hearts offering up thanks and requests because there’s no words to sufficiently describe what we’re feeling.
    Thanks for your quiet (or silent) choices.


  2. Rose Lefebvre says:

    I don’t do resolution. Instead, I do silent prayers for the coming year. I pray for those who are suffering to find peace, those hungry to be fed, those depressed to find a joy for their life, those without a home to find warmth, those reaching for help to find a hand. I know the world cannot be perfect, but maybe a prayer can bring what is needed to a few.
    I also pray for the dogs and cats who face cruelty, starvation, injury and death to find at least one day of love, caring and warmth.
    If I could I would save the world….


  3. Roxie says:

    In my slippers and bathrobe I pause a moment on the porch before I lunge into the rain and grab the newspaper out of the box. And during that pause, I thank God for getting us safely through another night, and ask Him/Her to be with the people who weren’t so fortunate. It’s nice to have a trigger to remind us how vulnerable we really are.


  4. Lisa Nowak says:

    I don’t do resolutions, either. It seems to me that you’re setting your important goals up for failure. If I want to set a goal, I set it, regardless of the season. It’s interesting that you found yourself making a resolution in spite of your resolve not to. 🙂


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