Sitting here, I heard the sound of a train rolling by. I heard it off in the distance a couple of times before, but the blaring horn and clickety-clack of the metal wheels following tracks were much louder tonight than it was before. I don’t actually know where the train tracks are as I have not stumbled upon them yet, but I was glad to hear the train and remembered this story I told my mother once.
I discovered that I enjoyed the sound of distant trains–especially at night as I am falling asleep. It is comforting to me. Every place that I have lived (minus one) has had train tracks nearby. The tracks near the house I grew up in were so close, the house rattled when the train rolled by. It was very loud–and long–but it never bothered me. I don’t think it bothered any of us because we had grown accustomed to it.
When I went away to college, some people would complain about the train near the school. Of course, I didn’t mind it and actually enjoyed it, but I didn’t know why. One bachelor’s degree and two apartments later, I decided to move closer to work. The area was nice, I enjoyed my new-found independence, but I did not feel at home there. It was a short-lived excursion to a new land, and it was time to go back “home.” But, where is home? Home is where the train is.
I discovered what it was with me and trains. Home is a place where you [should] find refuge, safety, and love. Every place that I called home just so happened to have a train nearby. Somehow, subconsciously, the train had become symbolic of home. Coincidentally (or not), the apartment near work did not have a nearby train.
Whether I concocted this theory in a fit of creativity, or there is truth to it, everyone has something in their lives that remind them of home. Sounds and smells are powerful triggers for memories, and with this being the holiday season, the time is ripe for making new memories and recalling old ones. Whether you return to your place of refuge, work, or do nothing at all this season, be sure to take the time out to share the love with those whom you care about the most. You never know what role you play in the production of someone else’s life. You could play a supporting role, be an extra, or maybe even just be part of the set–like a train. Whatever your role is, play it well. Memories are available for the taking. Make some with your family and friends this season while you have the chance.