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Family on a Train in the Snow

Family on a Train in the Snow

What else could anyone ask for?

The silence of the snow, the roar of the train, the chatter of family.

Snow flakes fall and somehow stop time. They fall in slow motion, in no hurry to get where they’re going. In fact, they’re not going anywhere. They swing a little to the left, then sway to the right. The might catch a little wind drift and rise back up towards from where they came. No matter, no hurry, no reason for existence other than floating soundlessly and eventually falling on a soft spot together with others.

The train lurches forward, its mass, volume and weight heavy but still resting on only a sliver of steel that touches the track below. As an ice skater glides only on a blade that connects what’s above with what’s below. The pressure is all on that one spot, of course, shared with the other wheels, but still, strong enough to flatten your nickel. It thunders through the valleys, snow flurries scurrying out of the way as elegantly as ducklings away from a boat’s wake.

Families inside are warm and festive, celebrating the last hours of the year with music and laughter, tears and pain. The snow outside is timeless, the train is also something of the past. Today is the last day of the year and we’re all together, on a train, in the snow, en route to the Grand Canyon. We may well be a family 100 years ago, but they would have other concerns and WiFi speed wouldn’t be one of them. Still, the past, the present and future are all bundled up inside of the train, looking out and looking in—looking beyond and looking inwards.

snow + train + family = whole

Our past we know, our present is all we have, our future is unknown. We can live our present according to what we know from the past, what we do with the knowledge right now, and this partly shapes what our future will bring. We have no control over our past, little over our future but all control over our present. What will we choose to do? Who will we become? Who are we now in this moment?

If this moment is snow, train, and family then everything is right with the present moment and the past that brought me here was all worth it and the future that is ahead I am ready for. There is only now and there is only this moment in time.

I have only love to give and only love to receive. Giving seems easy but it needs to be received. Like throwing a ball, you need a willing recipient. When you are the recipient, you also need to be ready to catch it, to accept it, to truly receive.

I am grateful for this day. I am grateful for the snowflake that falls in front of my nose. For the train that carries me forward. For the family that surrounds me. I give them love and I receive it fully and purely. I know of no other moment than the present. There is no other moment. There is no other snowflake, train, or family. It is now and it is who I am.

Give a man a train and ... he'll give the world.

Give a man a train and … he’ll give the world.

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