Tuesday, September 22, 2009

trains gone by / originally posted Feb 19, 2009

I live close to the airport now...not so close that it annoys, but close enough that i can hear the roar of the jet engines preparing for take off. No matter how many times i hear it, I always feel a longing to be onboard. Destination is immaterial, I just want to be entering that 21st century magical carpet that will take you anywhere you want to go...to walk that narrow path between the seats looking for my own place by the window where i wait to be whisked above the clouds.

I have to have a window seat; only once was i in the second seat and luckily for him, the person in MY window seat was sleeping because i spent the entire trip nearly on his lap looking out the window. No matter how many times i've flown since, i still love peering out, trying to decipher the ground beneath me and identify the towns, the rivers, the mountains as I pass over them. Even at night, the sparkle of the lights as we pass over the cities is amazing.

I remember the first time I flew, only 10 years ago. We took off, heading out of the snowy Cleveland airport to the sunshine I thought could only be found in Florida but now I realize exists everywhere--above the clouds. No amusement park ride thrills me as the sensation of lift-off! We banked out over Lake Erie and then headed south...I had my nose pressed to the window watching the ground unfold before me as we gained altitude. I could see a river looping below and was excited--that must be the metro park--and then my amazement when the captain came over the loudspeaker to welcome us on board and tell us we just crossed the Ohio River! We had traveled the equivalent of 5 1/2 hours on land in just minutes!!!

The engines' roar creates in me the same longing that the railroad whistle must have done to others a hundred years ago. However, an airport just doesn't look as romanticly evocative as a set of rails do. A few months ago, a friend took me around to some places in our neighborhood I never knew existed. Who'd have thought there'd be an abandoned railroad roundhouse in the middle of an urban neighborhood? I stood on the tracks and the rails stretched as far as the eye could see...the only difference is these rails eventually led to the steelmills rather than across the midwest plains.

No comments:

Post a Comment