It occurred to me the other week, as I was sitting on the train for the daily commute, that life could easily be likened to a train journey. I suspect this is probably not an original “train” of thought even, but I still want to explore it.
So, life as a train journey.
in life we are travelling from birth to death, or from b to d.
Sometimes the journey is easy and all the signals are in our favour, and other times we just got the wrong train, like I did that morning. It might be going in the right direction, but it is slow and chuggish, and keeps stopping for no apparent reason. The signal is always against us, and we are getting nowhere fast.
Othertimes we get the wrong train in that it is going in the wrong direction, or taking us on a huge detour from where we wanted to go. Maybe where we end up will not be so bad, and we can stay a while before trying to head to where we originally wanted to go, or maybe even decide that where we are is where we want to be, at least for a while.
Sometimes though it will seem like we are up a branch line, where there is nothing going on, and if we are not careful we could be stuck in the sidings for a long time.
We are rarely alone in our train, there are always people coming along for part of the ride. Some people journey with us for a long time, enriching our journey just by being our companion. Others maybe make the journey more difficult, taking too much space, being too overbearing, or just coming for the ride with their feet up on the seat, and not paying the full ticket.
People will leave the train, and journey off in a different direction. Perhaps it will be a long time until our trains cross again, or until we are on the same train, travelling again in the same direction, and for others some will reach the end station before we do, and that will be that. We will not see them again.
The routine of our lives can mean that we feel stuck on the circular line, going round and round seeing the same faces and places every day, doing the same things every day, never really seeming to progress further. Most of us are on these circular routes, looping round, making the same mistakes perhaps each day. That line only goes in circles, so the only way to get further along the line is to swap trains, get on another route going in a different direction and see whether that is a better trip than the one we were on.
The people i feel sorry for are the ones you see on the platform of life, on the edge, never getting on a train, just staying where they are while everyone else travels by each day, even those on the circular line pass them every day, maybe noticing them, maybe not. The lives of those on the platform pass by, but slowly and seemingly never changing.
Of course there are those who are on the super trains, the ones that go very high, with fabulous views. It is hard to get on these trains, and almost as hard to stay on them. Everything is fast and busy on these trains, and there is often no time to enjoy the views from the top. There are plenty of people waiting to get on these trains and take your seat, just as soon as you get off.
Nobody knows how long each ride is going to be, or what is round the corner. Maybe it will be something wonderful, maybe it will be a derailment, or maybe it will be the end station for some.
Here in Germany the train drivers are currently having a four day strike. So there are not many trains running. A strike is a signal that something is not right, and needs to be changed before we can carry on with our train journey. Even a strike can be mirrored in our lives as an illness or a breakdown, a time we need to take out. The one here in Germany is now being negotiated in the courts, we will see where that brings us.
On Monday we will be back on track I hope.
So what do you think? How is your journey going and which train will you get on next?