Before walking up the old railway bridge I turned around and took this picture. It was the sunset time; the sky was yellow, and a tiny orange cloud sitting at the skyline looked like a puff of smoke left by a distant steam engine rolling at full speed into nowhere.
There is no train, the bridge is abandoned. Too late, the last train is gone.
I used to know a woman who acted like she was fifty even when she was twenty. Never changed. Never married. When I was overwhelmed with caring for my young daughter, studying and doing several jobs she would say : The one who lives slowly lives long.
Another woman, my mother’s colleague, never got married and never had any friends because she had a heart problem. She would do her gardening, sit on her porch and take long and slow walks. She would wind up an old gramophone and put it outside – I loved it! She is in her 80s now, still doing pretty much the same things.
I wonder, did they miss their train?
Growing older, I often feel like I am standing in the platform and watching the others board the train and leave. I cannot catch up. My ticket has expired, and my luggage is all over the place. Isn’t it a time to start living slowly?
I did miss many important trains. I could have done more for my Grandma. Being fed and comfortable is not enough. I could have taken her for a fun train trip to a big city she was always asking about (What is there in fashion now? Does everybody wear the shoes like yours?)
And now there is only a puff of smoke left at the skyline.
Mable Hillery, How long this train been gone