6:30 Train

When I was in college, and even
later, when newly married, this train ride filled me with expectation, with
promise. Either the coming here to the valley of l’Allaine or leaving it. Now,
this morning, riding the rails through a frosty valley along a steaming river
under a crystalline sky of promise, I feel it again. Going off somewhere on an
adventure, off to chase something. While hopefully having learned the lesson
that the best adventures are also found close to home, hidden in the packaging
of everyday life.
But sometimes, it is a good thing
to see something familiar from an unexpected perspective. And that is why I
like the train. The villages are all the same ones I drive through, but seen
from a different angle they take on a new charm. The sweep of the white touched
fields up to the neat rows of sleepy-eyed houses, smoke lining up out of
chimneys, and the gray tall forests beyond. Gray now and looking like if I
could brush my hand over the tops the trees would be soft, like the fuzz left
on a dandelion blossom, or the soft gray fur of my rabbit. 
In Courchavon there
is the cemetery chapel, perched up on the hill, three stories high, unlike any
other cemetery chapel I’ve ever seen, looking for all the world like a small
child craning up on his tip-toes to insist, don’t forget about me!  I want to draw it each time I pass. This is
the closest I’ve gotten to that.
In a few weeks all the mole hills
in the field will be plowed under, replaced instead by furrows as deep and dark
as chocolate cake that always make me hungry when I see them. The docile forest
will sprout springtime from the tips of its fingers and the soft gray give way
to green, first shy then in-your-face, in a “I am springtime, hear me roar”
kind of way.
In Porrentruy even the half-torn up
railway barn looks beautiful in this light, and it makes me wonder why I don’t
opt for early morning all the time. The people getting off the train and
walking to their lives seem purposeful and beautiful too. Of course, the
weather helps. The world, and everything here has mutually agreed to begin
again. Not that we have much say in the matter, actually. Perhaps  better said that God begins us again today
and we are closest to His intentions when we go along with it with an expectant
So I am expectant right now, for
this day, for my life. Despite my last minute dready thing that I always do, I am
joyfully expectant about  connecting to
my tribe of writers today in Geneva and trusting it will be worth the long haul and expense to get
The sun is now just peeking through
a gap in the mountains (I’ve learned to call them) behind Cornol. It’s going to
be a gorgeous day.  The contrails of early
morning jets reflect the light and glow like pond skimmers on water’s surface. Funny to think of the people
on those flights — Flying from where to where? Not, obviously, to here, but travelling
like me, but with a completely different agenda. I could almost feel sad for
them because they won’t see the frosty Allaine in the morning light just before
sunrise, but it’s silly I know. They’ll see something else, and maybe today
their praise is in the grand, while mine will be in the small. 

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