Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I heard the song of a train this morning...

In the spring we sleep with the french door in our bedroom open.

The sounds of children playing in the neighborhood often lull me to sleep at night.

The sound of doves and the fresh scent of the breeze often awaken me in the morning.

I lie quietly (yes, I am actually quiet sometimes) and watch the morning awaken.

The light changes from a hint of the day to come, to that soft diffused early morning tenderness possible only during a morning in Spring.

The air smells alive and green and full of blossoms and promise.

And the clear, mournful song of the train horn takes me to verdant places where train tracks cross the distance of miles and memory. I am transported to places where white farmhouses stand sturdily, adorned and awash with only the slight pink light of the spring sunrise for a few moments each morning.

I travel by fields where some might view the broken down fences as abandoned dreams and some might view the overgrown weeds as hopeful possibilities.

My journey continues through small towns where vignettes of women in bathrobes stand in the warm golden light of their kitchen windows to fill battered coffee pots with cold, pure, tap water.

I return to those moments when I held the warmth and weight of small children, damp from their bath, smelling of sweetness and innocence on my lap.

I can feel the textured and slightly battered "Child's Garden of Verses Book" under my fingertips...the edge of the book rough and worn away with nightly readings of a quickly passing childhood.

Robert Louis Stevenson captures their imagination and their drowsy eyes grow wide as I recite these words...

"Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle."


They snuggle deeper in my lap...

"All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies."


Little heads grow heavy and lay upon my shoulder...

"Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!"


Oh, I heard the song of a train this morning.

And it was a lovely, poignant refrain.

Mr. Jenny says somedays we hear the train horn more clearly then others because there is more humidity in the air.

I think that somedays we hear it more clearly then others because we need to remember where we come from...

...so we can clearly see where we are going as we continue on this epic journey of our lives.

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70 comments:

Drama Queen said...

What a beautiful post this morning....! I can hear the train at night here at my new house...I love it.

Have a blessed day!

Amy said...

I love this post Jenny. It reminds me that I need to pause in this roller coaster life of mine and enjoy the stages my family is passing through. I've become so used to the train, I rarely hear it anymore...thank you for the reminder!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh Jenny! This is just beautiful! Thank you for sharing these precious moments!

Anita said...

Oh Jenny, how wonderful to be reading your words this morning. I love the images you have drawn for me. I love those quiet moments in my days too. My husband once asked me what I listen to or have on when I'm alone in our house during the day, when he is working and our children are at school.......the answer, most of the time nothing. Today as I walked to the back porch I was greeted by chirping birds and the smell of jasmine, sweetly scenting the air.
Have a wonderful day.

Jenny said...

What a lovely post Jenny! We have train tracks near our home and I love the trains' song. It is comforting and calming to me.

Lucy said...

Isn't that the truth? My windows are always open (well, not summer) and waking up is so delightful. And I do hear that train in the very early morning. Nothing like it.

Darcie said...

There is truly something to be said for the sound of trains...that memory takes me too many places as well! I loved where your memory took you...I can picture it clearly.

Tina said...

I've always loved the mournful train whistle. Our first apartment was near the railroad tracks, and I considered that an asset. Here I no longer hear them. What a beautiful post. Your imagery - so vivid, I had my own children in my lap with Goodnight Moon. Thanks.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Beautifully written, Jenny! I always feel that the sound of a distant train has such a romantic, and wanderlust sound.

I love that you are reading poetry to your grandchildren! Robert Lewis Stevenson is one of my favorites. I use to read "A Child's Garden of Verses" to my children and I hope to be able to do the same with my grandson when he's older.

Brittany said...

You gave me happy goose bumps. Your words are full of pictures. I can see everything you write.

You are so talented.

Pondside said...

Ah Jenny, that was lovely. I feel the same way about a train horn, having been born on an island that one day connected to the mainland by a rail causeway - the train really was our connection with the world.
Here on the Island I can hear the boat horns if the air and wind are right.

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

This is lovely! A great start to my day reading this. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Cynthia said...

You are write so beautifully! I loved this.

Anita said...

What a peaceful mood you're in...how nice.
Thanks for spreading it to me. :)

Yankee Girl said...

Another beautiful post!

Very thoughprovoking and moving.

Jennifer said...

Wonderful post. :)

When I am home, I can hear a train whistling, too. Sometimes, I love coming home just so I can hear it again late at night or in the middle of the day...

CherylK said...

Beautifully written, Jenny. When I'm traveling by train (which I've done twice, this year) I am lulled to sleep by the hum of the wheels on the tracks.

Holly said...

What a lovely post!

You always bring such joy to my day!! Thank you for that!!

Funny, I've been thinking about trains a lot lately. Perhaps a cross-country trip some time? My only concern is how much luggage I can have for all the treasures I find along the way!!!

Have a great day Jenny!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Love it...

Need....spring...now....

We had about six inches of snow here last night. AAGHH..

Julie Harward said...

Well Jenny..that was down right poetic! I kept waiting for a joke to pop up in there somewhere but it all stayed calm and was very beautiful...you are a woman of many colors! Love ya :D

mrs. c said...

Trains ,my father, grandfather and many other realitves on my dad's side of the family worked for Southern Railway. I do believe if I had been a boy, it would have been my profession! When I was young I would go with my dad to work and actually got to be the engineer. My grandfather was a famous steam engineer and there are recordings of him blowing the steam engine whistle in the Simthsonian...is that not so cool! I adore trains!

The Wilson's said...

Great post, Ma! We sometimes hear the faint sounds of trains at our house and that instantly catapults my thoughts back to Newgarden Ave and all the awesome memories there! I also remember that poem - oddly enough I pulled that book out of storage last weekend (along with my record player!) and was looking through it for the swing poem...

Theresa said...

What a beautiful post my friend! I love the sound of the train, as long as it isn't rocking the house. When my Grandparents were living, the old homeplace was near a train. People actually rode on them back then. When my Dad came back from the War... he rode the train and walked to their house from the train station. I remember my Mama saying she heard him whistling as he was walking homr. Sweet memories:) Hugs to you Dear Jenny! Thanks for triggering that memory for me! Have a blessed day!

My Grama's Soul said...

Good morning Jenny.....What a beautiful post for this morning. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane.

P.S. My sweet sister-in=law, Sandy, 521 Lakestreet, says you will be at the craft fair this Saturday. I look forward to meeting you.

Jo

ladyfi said...

This is a stunningly beautiful and thoughtful post!

Ms. Anthropy said...

Beautiful post! We never open our doors. Never know what might come strolling in, uninvited.

Nancy C said...

Well, that's just lovely. Thanks.

Beth said...

I sure like your tangents, Miss Jenny!

Sage said...

Made me stop and think!...
I was raised near the tracks and my dad and brothers were railroad men.
Memories!
RITa

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is beautiful Jenny.
Thank you for taking me with you on this journey.

Linda said...

Ah Miss Jenny! I love the sound of a train it has a rhythm to it and transports me away also. Love the poem and I can see and feel sleepy heads on my shoulder also. Sweet Words!

Rachel said...

What a soul-soothing post to read today. It was such a lovely stop-and-smell-the-lilacs bit and I thoroughly enjoyed the words that wafted when I paused!

Thank you for posting this... I needed a breather.

Paula said...

what a relaxing post...so pretty Jenny. We have a train about 500 yards from our house...I'll never curse it again:)

Cheryl said...

This was just lovely stirring memories from years long ago. Thank you.

Country Dreaming said...

If your journey took you to the midwest through my town you could have the train stop about a block from my street , then you could come by for a visit!
Wait I actually hear a traincoming now. What a coincidence.

Melinda

5thsister said...

I have no words poignant enough to properly detail the wonderment of this post. I am duly impressed.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

My Jenny, that was a lovely lovely post. You took me with you as you went. I too, love the sound of a train and their whistle, we used to live really close to the train tracks when I was able 4-6 yrs. old, and I have very fond memories of it.
It is so neat to see you appreciate and enjoy the simple things of life,
they are some of the best joys aren't they!!
You have a delightful evening hon,
Blessings Galore hon,
Nellie

Julie Schuler said...

Your writing gives me the shivers today. We always stop when we are playing in the yard, when we hear the train whistle.
I think sometimes very objectively about myself, making coffee, I am the mother in the robe, and I am making the routine that is the heart of my family. I feel proud to be a woman and mother and wife. Life without our roles and rituals in sad and incomprehensible.

Mighty M said...

What a reflective post. We too can hear the train if we (and everything around us) is very, very quiet. And perhaps if the wind blows just right. Thanks for lifting my day! :)

Lisa said...

Great post! Great Blog! I have seen a few of your Alaphabet Thursday followers but haven't made it over here yet! Thanks for stopping by to see me. Your blog is lovely!!
Hugs, Lisa

criticalcrass said...

i LOVE that book, especially the one illustrated by gyo fujikawa (or whatever his name is)!

there are train tracks right outside of my subdivision. we live near the front of it, and our house is several decades old, so when a train passes through, i hear it coming and going for some time, and it rattles the house. and then i went to college out of state, in the middle of nowhere. i missed the sounds of those trains quite a bit.

and i like your thoughts on why you hear the train more clearly better than your husbands. much more romantic and thought-provoking.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful, my Dear.

And thank Mr. J. for telling me why I hear the train whistle more clearly, at some times.

Beverly said...

Great post! I love your blog. I think I will have to visit it often. I came by to let you know I appreciate your comment on my post about my Dad. It meant a lot to me. Thank you again.

Fat Dogs Mom:)

Martha said...

Beautiful, beautiful post...I loved every single word of it!!!!

Laura said...

All of us should have a well-worn copy of "A Child's Garden of Verses" on this epic journey...

Loved this post. Thanks for visiting me. Did you see my post on childhood wonder? I think you put a beautiful face on wonder here.

Julia Christie said...

How absolutely beautifully expressed jenny! I am full of nostalgic longing and yet realizing that at 40, with two grown children, a tween, and two babies, I am living this wonderful time - both the nostalgia, and the rediscovery of what was with my older two.
Thank you for this!

Smiles

BONNIE K said...

A wonderful new way to look at mornings. Some nice thoughts.

Nadeen said...

That Mr. Jenny, he thinks so practically, doesn't he? Actually, I agree with him. Really you oughta hear the train on a minus 20° day. There is nothing like it. Crisp, clear, with purpose. I love -20° days!

I must have more left brain in me than I thought.

Cheers!

Lourie said...

What a beautiful picture your words have painted. I feel a tad silly, but I thought of The Outsiders, and the poem that "PonyBoy" recites to "Johnny" "Nothing Gold Can Stay" So enjoy those sweet moments. Thanks for this post.

Jojo said...

Wow! I kept reading, waiting for the humor but instead your post was touching and poetic. So nice and what a surprise. Guess today we get to see your "quiet" side or at least a glimpse of Jenny without caffeine!

Brenda said...

I love the sound of a train that runs near my house. It sounds like a steam engine and it reminds me of where I am. I am home. =)

Jennee said...

This makes me think of a train joke.... so next time you pass over some train tracks you say..."Oh my josh! A train just came through here!" Hopefully someone will say "How did you know that?"

BECAUSE it left behind it's tracks! lol

great post!

Jennee said...

This makes me think of a train joke.... so next time you pass over some train tracks you say..."Oh my josh! A train just came through here!" Hopefully someone will say "How did you know that?"

BECAUSE it left behind it's tracks! lol

great post!

paperbutterfly said...

My I love the pictures you drew with your words. I love looking back to see where I have come from and others as well. You can learn so much about yourself and others.

Thank you for dropping by my blog.

Pam

Prairiemaid said...

Such a beautiful post! You made my day....I can feel the slightly cool, slightly damp freshness in the air, and faintly smell the aroma of the coffee perking on the stove.

Blessings!

Bossy Betty said...

What lovely images!! I can see, hear and feel them. So peaceful....thanks.

grammy said...

Nice post
I never read the kids that book
but i have read umpteen snugly books (o:
and the train whistle has been a part of our life here

The other day the 2 year old asked if it could run over us...scary...no dear....it has to stay on the track!!!

Bits-n-Pieces said...

beautiful entry my friend! Very moving!!

Bits-n-Pieces said...

beautiful entry my friend! Very moving!!

BECKY said...

Pure poetry! I, too, love the sounds of distant trains....

RNSANE said...

More than hearing the sound of a train, I like riding on them...especially in a sleeper car as I did from Madrid to Lisbon once to take a cruise. My friend and I took the Estrella night train which was a real adventure. We had a lovely bottle of wine which we finished early on, then, after chatting for awhie and finishing our cheese and chocolates, we enjoyed our swaying ride, listening to the whistle and the clang of the bells as the gates closed as we passed through towns along the way. I actually did manage to sleep.

ladyfi said...

I recommended this to be one of the posts of the week over here:

http://thesmittenimage.blogspot.com/

I just loved this so much...

My name is PJ. said...

This was brilliantly written in every way.

It was as though you were telling us a story and you kept your voice intentionally low so that we would all pay attention. And we did.

And because we paid attention, we took the train back to where you came from and it became where we came from.

You're magic.

Maddy Joy said...

Marvelous dear
you are very lucky that for hearing so sweet song of train in the early morning.i also like to hear such a when i am sitting on my varamdah. by wearing the Womens Bathrobes after taking the proper bath..

Diana said...

How beautiful Jenny. I still have that book " Child's Garden of Versus".
And I can hear the train whistle right now as the train tracks are only a block and a half away from our house! What a lovely post oh and I wanted to thank you for your rendition of the Happy Birthday song on my blog! It was very good, perhaps there is a singing career in your future?! Love You, Di ♥

Maggie B said...

Jenny, this is a lovely poignant post and I could picture it all so clearly.
I often hear the early morning train on it's way to Paris at 6:30 but have never imagined it's journey in the way you describe. Maybe now I will?
~Maggie~

Mama Zen said...

What a gorgeous post!

Vicki said...

WOW. talk about taking us for a ride.... Love your memories and everything Jenny.

And that I'm back blogging again! Withdrawls are tough. Keep sharing..

Daryl said...

Congrats on the POTW mention from Hilary

Melinda Cornish said...

I like foghorns too...I miss hearing them on the sound...