Monday, November 04, 2013

Sometimes It Is Only a Caboose

Sometimes It Is Only a Caboose
by Peggy Eldridge-Love
Last Monday I thought I'd leave home early so I could make our business bank deposit before I got caught up in the demands of the day. We've recently moved so I decided to take a route that bypasses much of the work day traffic and the ever increasing street repair projects that clog our city's roads. I remembered that there was a railroad crossing near the bank when you go the direction I was heading, but I could not imagine a train halting traffic during rush hour when people were pressing to get to work on time.  The thought of encountering a train was fleeting.
            As I rounded the curve near the bank where the railroad crossing is located I was stunned to see nearly a dozen cars in line awaiting the slow moving train that was already on the track to complete its crossing. My first reaction was one of anxiety and immediate thoughts of alternative routes started to flood my mind, but common sense took over. The bank was less than three blocks away once I crossed the track and any alternative route was going to be filled with its own obstacles. I decided to wait it out.
            To my surprise, I found myself using the time to quietly reflect and meditate on things my busy life rarely allowed me to give any quality energy. I made mental notes of people I needed to reach out to, small tasks I needed to complete, and thought about what I needed from myself to ensure I was being considerate of myself. Before I realized it I was saying a long overdue prayer of thanksgiving for all the many blessings I hadn't had time to even realize I'd been receiving.
            I noticed the lights on the truck in front of me come on and saw, to my delight, that the long, slow moving train that had been crossing the track had completed its journey and the track was now clear. I happily shifted my car from park back into drive preparing to move with the rest of traffic the moment the crossing guard rail lifted. It was at that moment I looked down the track and noticed the big bright headlight on another train coming from the same direction the one that had just cleared the track had come. About that same time I also heard the loud piercing warning whistle coming from it and my heart sank. The flashing lights that had just briefly gone out were blinking red again, and the guard rails we were expecting to lift stayed stationary. Another train was coming right behind the first!
            The sense of well-being I'd gained while waiting for the first one to past was lost in a flash. Anger, frustration, impatience and disappointment replaced the magnificence of those few uninhibited moments. I began to think about all the negatives that I was sure were awaiting me now that I'd be forced to wait on the passing of another train. Prayers were being set-aside for expressions of disgust and then I saw that what was moving across the track was not another long, slow moving train, but rather it was only a caboose.
            What a lesson that was for me! What a revelation of the different dynamics of being in a state of thanksgiving and the all too common state of negativity we tend to fall into so quickly and easily if we are not vigilant of our spiritual state of being. I made myself a little promise, and I hope you will too. Next time it seems that what's approaching is probably a trainload of trouble I won't panic, instead I'll remind myself that in all likelihood it's only a caboose.

Copyright 2008 Peggy Eldridge-Love
Photo Credits: 
Image credit: sgbf59 / 123RF Stock Photo

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