Thanksgiving has passed and the pre-Christmas season is all around us. Lights, trees, concerned family members who wonder how we might organize our gift giving to keep things simple are just a few of the markers. Time at home after work is filled with correspondence, bills, sorting out the medical flexible spending account, “other duties as assigned.” These full days and nights are all the more reason to pause and give a shout out to the 7:37 train that wends down from Hamilton, its origin, into the bowels of North Station with a usual arrival time of 8:30, just enough time most days to grab the tall chai latte and be at breakfast, and the office, by 9.
The train rushes into the starting station pretty fast, and the smell of the brakes casts its acrid aroma over all bystanders. When its come to a halt, we wait for lively teens to detrain, bound for local schools. Sometimes a few gardeners or farm workers climb down. Then those of us who’ve found this train works with our schedule clamor aboard, collapse in our window seats and for a few minutes, just “are.” We’re between sets of responsibilities.
Out the window is a gray day today, the marsh grass having turned a tawny brown and the air filled with foggy remains of the night. The look is barren but still life is harbored here, tucked down in the reeds out of the winds. A few ducks might float by on the rising tide. These lands are doing what they do best: serve as buffer, as sponge.
It’s a peaceable train as it begins this journey with seats all empty, then filling up as the way ahead pulls it in. Time to work, read, to lean one’s head against the glass, these are morning things to do once the rush of the house is behind and the crush of the workday is not yet.
Last night’s poncho making, bill paying, loan applying, form copying and “whatnot” take their place in the past as we head into another day. I’m grateful I can do all those things and look ahead to what will no doubt be another full day with all it will bring with it.