Unravelling train travel

There’s something magical about a railway station. Do you feel it? This epic structure housing centuries of arrivals and departures. This all-pervading sense of coming and going. The to and fro of train travel, past, present and future.

As I step onto the train, I’m stepping into the unknown. I’m trusting myself – my belongings, my journey, my plans, my life – to this uncertain system that is the rail network. Trusting the network to get me there. I’m embarking on an adventure. An adventure crowded with unknown travel companions and potential delays. Brimming with nervous anticipation, I search for my reserved seat. I squeeze in next to a nameless stranger – two separate lives thrown together in this moment of companionable anonymity.

train3As the train pulls out of the station, I leave the ordinary behind. I wave goodbye to normal. I’m pulling away from all that is known, all that is safe, all that is predictable. The outside world whizzes by. Towns come and go in a flash. I am moving. I am no place. I’m looking out of my life out onto the world. I’m observing everyday people leading everyday lives. This blur of normal – one man walking a dog, another hanging out the washing…This is steady. And I am in between. In between worlds. In between a field of spring lambs and a sewage treatment works. In between delight and dereliction.

As the train pauses at a station, I reflect on the travellers getting on and off. The hellos and the goodbyes. The beginning and endings of journeys. The constant sense of flux. This natural flow. I relax into the rhythm. I surrender control. My mind has entered a different realm. It’s been released. Set free to travel, to drift, to wander, to explore.

I am heading for my destination. I have left my home to travel there. My journey has a purpose. I have left the comfort of my everyday routine, my everyday identity. This journey holds immense potential. I could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. But I know where I have to go. What I have to do. Who I have to be. I know the reason for my journey. This time on this train is preparing me. I am on an internal journey. I have time to reflect. Time to travel this internal path.

As the train pulls in to the station, I’m ready. This is my stop. This is where my journey ends.


Here I am on the train again. This time, I’m going home. I’m going home. I’m leaving the adventure behind.

I’m weary. But happy weary. Everything went according to plan. There’s a sweet relief in that. I did OK. More than OK. I made good memories. And I’m changed. This experience has changed me. I’m going back home different. I’m ready to go back to my life. I appreciate my life all the more. I see all that I have, all that I treasure, all the love that is waiting for me. Waiting to embrace me and hold me and welcome me home. I can relax into this journey. There’s a pull, yes, an invisible thread drawing me home. But there’s no rush. No sense of urgency. I relax into the transition. This movement from there to here, from away to home. Moving my body and mind from there to here, from away to home.

I’m going home.



1 Comment

  1. Jo April 4, 2016 / 6:03 pm

    Always made me smile when we used to jump on the train Maisie with McDonald’s in hand(fussy eater) and the person opposite thinking.. Iv paid £150 + to sit opposite two non stop talking kids..?

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