This bright Monday morning has the auspicious start of a new train schedule for the greater Boston area. For me it means an additional morning rush hour train at (let me check…) 7:35 and/or a two minute shave off my 7:07 for a 7:05 departure from my station. As we pulled away at 7:08, a glance over the marsh revealed 4 bounding deer heading away toward the wood line. It’s going to take us all a few days.
I’d been gripped with indecision about which train to take since taking the dog out at 5:20. Old habits die hard, and there was a “Platform 9 ¾ “ feel to that newly proposed time. Would a 7:35 train really appear? I decided not to chance it.
But this day also brought a new touchstone to the routine based on input from a neighborly gathering on Friday night. This group meets twice a year to share a meal and catch up on our lives. We learned over dinner that one of our neighbors always notices the pizza boxes outside our fence put out for the Monday morning trash collection. Drive-by pizza: he notices; he expects to see boxes. I hope it’s a small signal all is right in one part of our really small world.
Our group also talked for a while about our morning routines: who left when, drove where, noticed what. I wondered aloud why someone had stopped to take a photo of my house. Someone else’s place remains a bus stop for the kids to keep them off a busy road. Will the new train schedule mean we will see you pulling out of your driveway in the morning? Will we meet you at the intersection?
“Every day’s a Saturday,” exclaimed another neighbor I saw at the next-door winery release party the night previous. Retired, golfing and happy she was; I know we all can’t leave the day jobs for a while to join that more relaxed subset. The fact is I’m not ready to trade in my commute or take up golf. But I’m happy this neighbor is happy. I’m thankful my other neighbor notices my trash.
The waiting crowd as we approach the Salem train station is four rows deep on the platform. We’re never standing room only at this junction. Yes, it’s going to take a few days.