Observations While on a Train

Though I normally do not write in the first person, this occasion is a tad different since I am not writing this while seated in front of my computer. Instead, I am gazing out the window as I wait for the Amtrak train to leave New Haven’s Union Station and make its way to Springfield, MA. (We are already three minutes behind schedule).

With the last of the daylight slipping under the horizon and the city lights coming on, Carrie Underwood’s voice is singing in my ear from the same device I write this upon. The words “Just a fool to believe you can change the world” keep repeating, reverberating in my head long after the song has finished.

But as the song points out, the only foolery comes from thinking what you do in this world will never make a difference.

Anything we do to better this world is a worthwhile endeavor, whether it helps only one or one hundred. For instance, if nothing – or no one – ever changed how I live my life or see the world, I would not be pulling up to the next stop on my hour and a half journey to see the bright spot in my life. It’s the simple love and care we show each other that makes the greatest difference in the world.

There is a woman behind me on the phone talking about her ailing mother. Determined to make the rest of her mother’s time on this earth as peaceful as possible, she is working damage control to keep angst and arguing out of her home as she journeys to her mother’s side.

This woman is not a celebrity, nor is she is an activist. She is simply a loving daughter who is caring for her dying mother – the same unconditional love her mother must’ve shown her as she grew up. Her actions will not help the hungry or the poor, but she will be helping the woman she has known and loved her entire life.

Like during a storm, one rain drop falls, colliding with the ground, collecting with other drops, forming a puddle. Soon, so much water has built up that one cannot jump over the gaping pool. Love, like the drops, comes in small increments, slowly accumulating, until we cannot ignore its presence any longer.

Let the love pour out. You may not think it is much, but someday you may be able to see just how much you’ve given as it is returned to you. The woman’s mother may not have thought her love was life-changing or earth-shattering, but her daughter’s actions speak otherwise, for she is simply returning what she’s received over a lifetime.

So don’t fret when you come upon this deep pool of water that has formed – this is one puddle it’s okay to splash in; get wet.


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