the train ride home

You open your eyes. Out the window of the train you see gleaming cities in the sunlight, sunflower fields stretching into the horizon. Glassy lakes and mountains extending into the clouds. Sights that knock the air out of your lungs and make you remember why you’re on the train in the first place.

There are times you see gray, graffitied buildings. Identical neighborhoods rushing past. An expanse of seemingly nothingness. Some days, months, years you notice nothing of significance passing by your window. The ride drags on; it all passes by eventually.

Inside your train are the people you choose to share your time and space with – these people are what matter most. Some will stay on the same train for one or two stops before hopping off. A brief friend that may fade from memory as your journey continues. Others will be with you for years. Every single person in your life cannot fit into your train for the entirety of your journey – it’s okay for them to find their own way. But while they are riding the train with you, appreciate them. They may not be around forever.

At times, it will feel full. Uncomfortably full. You’ll wish it weren’t so crowded and you had some more elbow room. Worse than that, there will be times when your train will feel empty. Worry not, because there’ll always be passengers waiting to board. All you must do is open the door.

Eventually, your train will begin to slow down. You’ll feel the gradual shift, the gears on the tracks. Your ride is coming to a close. With a drawn-out exhale, it halts, its immense energy gone. No more passengers. No more views, either spectacular or dull.

Nothing more than a released breath like steam dissipating into the night air.

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