Every few days I’m asked to explain the differences of “home” and here. These inquiries come from friends both in the US and here. I’m sure I’ve answered the question differently every time it’s been asked, but I thought of a new one just a few minutes ago. I haven’t heard a single train whistle since I left Atlanta. I rode on several trains in Chicago (real life big trains, with engineers and everything. I tried to play it cool), and I can see the local Metro train from where I’m sitting, but I haven’t heard one in forever.
Living in Auburn, I became quite accustomed to hearing the CSX Railways trains at all hours of the day, specifically at 1:00 AM, it was strangely comforting. I loved sitting up late reading on the balcony at Edge West and hearing that “lonesome whistle” as Hank Williams called it. Late at night in my parents’ house in Atlanta you can hear both the interstate and the railroad just to the west. It’s weird but I really miss hearing those.
I like trains. One of my favorite parts of majoring in Supply Chain Management was studying trains. In my Advanced Transportation Management class we spent a whole 65 minute class watching videos of trains and train crashes. It was awesome. I have read several books recently about trains including Jack London’s The Road.
I certainly miss tacos, burritos, barbecue, tasty beer, my family and friends back home, but those were to be expected. I’m surprised by the fact that I noticed that it’s 1:20 AM and I can sit on the balcony and hear literally every other sound except for a freight train.
I could wax poetic about the connection of travel with a route set into the ground, or progress moving forward, or the dying of the old ways, or a deep longing for a nomadic lifestyle, or something. I could also search for some other meaning, something spiritual and connected to my life right now, maybe a teaching point, but I won’t, at least for now.
I’ve had a lot of disjointed thoughts lately about a lot of things, and this one of them. Maybe it’ll become something some day.