Waiting is defined in such different terms when you’re taking the train. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it thusly: “To look forward expectantly. To remain stationary in readiness or expectation ” When I was a small child I remember waiting for the Burlington Zephyr. The area where you caught the Zephyr was in Wisconsin; across the river from Winona, Minnesota. We had to drive across the interstate bridge to get to the little shack on the side of the tracks to meet the train.
There was a curve right were the two little shelters were situated and you could look on down the line on either side for miles. I remember so well the anticipation of looking down those long rails as they faded into the distance. Waiting. Watching. Then, pop, a light appeared in the distance. The excitement was indescribably intense for an excitable child looking forward to getting on that gleaming sliver god. For it was the God of the West Wind; it was the Zephyr.
For many of those taking the train that is the first step – waiting for the train to come whether around the corner or down that long stretch of track. Listening for the sound of the whistle far in the distance. It is a transcendent experience that starts our journey.