It’s hard to believe I am back to riding the rails after a whirlwind tour of the “Wild West.” Just a week ago today we, my eldest daughter, her husband, and our first grandchild headed through Red Rocks outside Denver to lunch in Boulder. From there, more adventures and gorgeous drives filled our next few days until now we find ourselves back here in still mild, colorful and sunny days. Many differences in our non-mile high elevation on this coast set us apart from that Basin and Range topography, the views through the mountain passes of Ouray, and the vast desert Southwest. But upon our re-entry I wonder: is it really any wilder out there than here?
The Wild East manifests itself in the way we live: fast, probably too fast. Surely drivers and their maneuvers are not so different from those of cowboys trying to push fast moving cattle into the branding pens. Here there are a lot of people to move through and we also seek to cover rough ground smoothly. Even our household animals can be restless. And with a full moon over the marsh or a setting sun against the skyline, the horizon here also extends itself: if not as far, at least half as beautiful.
Today these thoughts rush at me as I leave the “stillpoint” of the infamous coffee brew stop before hopping the train with my fellow passengers. By a small miracle, just as second daughter and I leave with drinks in hand, the train pulled into the platform; I knew I would make it. My mind flashed back to the film shown on the flight home: The Lone Ranger. Every so often I’d pry my eyes from my book (The Night Circus) and glance up at the (to me) soundless train chases and crazy top-of-car tumbling passes. Was I so very different today running with latte in hand, backpack bouncing and raincoat tied on as cape flying in the wind behind me?
Thank goodness for the West, the East, for chai lattes and capes. The latter put a little more lift in my wings this morning, and I hope you feel some in yours.