Friday, November 30, 2007

over there.........


Have you ever taken a walk on the other side of the tracks, where burdens beat down the path to nowhere?
Have you ever tried to walk in the holy soled shoes of a person who lives over there, in a worn out one room house?
What must it be like to shuffle invisibly down the dirt road with no means to cross over to where abundance flutters a warm breeze?
Stuck walking the same endless circle, around and around, while trying to find the exit........
The way towards a place where a new path is waiting to be tread upon.



Our own journeys offer us a bounty of possibilities and provide opportunities to explore beyond our own selves. Look up beyond and out towards the knee scraped hills dotted by impoverished burdens. Recognize the others who walk with us, or perhaps the ones who are walking over there in the distance........just past the abandoned tracks, where the whistling rumble of progress was silenced into submission. Because if we don't, who will?? These are the ones whom we need to carry until they can find their way once more....or until they can catch their breath and find the energy stored in new dawn hope.

Sometimes a walk is more than just a chance to find the whispers of creativity. Sometimes it is a journey into the wilderness of another's needs. What a difference one stroll over the tracks could be. It matters.

As the days grow shorter, and the night is pulled up into the cold winter sky like a heavy curtain blocking hopeful light, we need to be cognizant of the ones who walk with a limp, the ones who are carrying world weary weight on their shoulders, the ones who live on the other side of the tracks. For we are all at some point in our lives in need of being carried too.


This weeks prompt from Sunday Scribblings is "walk." I was inspired by my recent visit to a small village nearby where I met a young man who literally lives across from the old train station in a one room house along a dirt road. This young man was brought up knowing no other life and most likely will never know what it is to live on the other side of the tracks. Born with cognitive delays, he will always rely on others for his well being. His family live in the area. He will never move into town on his own. Its not in the cards. It simply isn't an option.

During our conversation sitting at his kitchen table with his mom, I asked him what he would like to do when he finished school. He lit up and told me that he wanted to work on the trains. This will never be.......the trains stopped running years ago. There is no work on the trains.....there is no work at all in this village. It has evolved into a one side of the tracks kind of place.

Prosperity took the last train out of town and left everybody in it's wake.

For more Sunday Scribblings, which I'm sure will be a bit more upbeat than my offerings this week.........click on this link.....

15 comments:

Just Jen said...

I absolutely loved this! It has a bittersweetness to it. You never know, that boy just might work on model trains? ;)
I envy his ability to dream and create the alterior universe he must live in, at the same time, his mother must mourn his lack of reality and love his simplicity.
My boys are special needs and I know, to an extent, what its like. My youngest wants to be a Transformer, ah what can I do?
I love the 'other side of the tracks' idea. We live a stone's throw from the tracks and I actually did grow up on the other side of them. We were always told not to cross the tracks and now I'm living here...these tracks are still used but not as much anymore. Now they are passing through trains, no more do they stop to bring materials to this ghost town that was once filled with steal industries....
Sorry, I'm writing my own post prompted by yours in the comments! LOL

gautami tripathy said...

I have walked into those streets where the so-called poor live, I have discovered so much happiness in there. They are stoic, philosophical and accept life as it comes. So much more to lean from them.

Your post is wonderful as always.

gautami

The Alchemist said...

First of all that train station looks a lot like the one I used stop at every summer, just off to the right sits an old Ford truck waiting for me to arrive.
Mother Theresa said that there are more people in this world starving for love and attention then for lack of food. What you gave that boy by listening to him and validating his existence was more important then trying to move him to the other side of the tracks.

Rob Kistner said...

This was poignant and touching -- wonderful write! ;)

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Maybe the walk on the other side occurs in the imagination, or the dreams of the soul, when earthly opportunities seem spare. Maybe. Just maybe. Thank you for taking us on your walks. xx, JP/deb

Awareness said...

Jen.....am wondering if you live near Hamilton? I was born there, and grew up in Burlington....the steel industries is what makes me wonder.
Sadly, this young man's mom is also developmentally delayed somewhat and has never been able to live and work independent of financial and emotional assistance. There is a shelter work environment close to where they live that is run by big hearted people who will be good and kind to this young man and will teach him work skills, but will also unconditionally accept him which is more important. This is what I'm arranging for next year when he graduates from his modified school program.


Gautami.....I can't begin to describe all of the many people whom I have met through my work who have touched me with their kindness and wisdom.....or the number of times I have sat in someone's kitchen and laughed with them even over something linked to the absurdity of life. I have learned far more about humanity and the human condition from the people I have met living on the other side of the tracks than I have ever provided to them.
thank you for your kind words.....


Alchemist...perhaps it is the train station you used to travel to as a young kid. McAdam, New Brunswick was the hub of the Maritimes....a major connecting town where many trains came and went not so long ago.....from both the rest of Canada and the Eastern states.
The town folks are actually taking it on to renovate. On the day of my last trip there, I got a personal tour of the inside of it, and it is going to be MAGNIFICENT again. They are hoping to turn it into a destination place and a small convention centre to business and govt and private citizens to rent out for meetings and weddings etc. We'll see. I hope it happens for them because something is sorely needed in this neck of the woods.

Rob, thank you. your feedback is always a boost to my motivation.

Deb...I have many more walks in me to share! I do think we can all use our imaginations to take those walks, and I hope I can add some texture and word pictures to help others to take those walks. :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

The trains might come back you know, in the Scottish Borders there are serious talks about reviving some of the rural train lines.

Redness said...

Loved your sad post, so sad for the boy! C'mon you Virgo you, surely you can find a way to get him on a bus to a train to anywhere ... ;~)

Awareness said...

Crafty....this area is quite impoverished now. I don't know if the trains will ever run again. Also, many of the tracks have been torn up and replaced with a Trans Canada walking trail, some of which is just down the hill from my house along the Saint John River. Trains aren't as revered anymore as a mode of transportation in Canada as they are in the UK and Europe. As much as our national heritage was born out of the building of the railroads from east to west, it has fallen into disrepair. If they were to upgrade and update, it would only happen between the Montreal and Toronto corridor which is where the population is the heaviest. That was it would be financially viable. Also, many millions of dollars has been spent on twinning the highways in the Maritimes, which was very much needed. That's also another topic for blogging........because the new roads by-pass many little villages that once relied on the vacationing traffic. no more....

Redness...thank you for the push. Of course as a Virgo I CAN DO ANYTHING!! Or at least I have the stubbornness to proceed in that manner. :) Let me think on it and get back to you with a plan!

arboleda said...

your walk to stay closer with that man is touching...I have seldom walked through a train trail to arrive quicker to a place..it is interesting the life in the surroundings...

Jo said...

A well-written and thought-provoking piece. I teared up when he said he wanted to work on the trains......

tumblewords said...

Progress, as determined by others, is not always for the best. Poignant post!

UL said...

yes indeed, this is very thought provoking, esp. liked the

"Sometimes a walk is more than just a chance to find the whispers of creativity. Sometimes it is a journey into the wilderness of another's needs."...how true. But in this fast-paced world it is one thing we most often forget.

Thank you for sharing,

UL

Devil Mood said...

Great so see a completely different take on this prompt. A sense that I hadn't thought about while writing my post.

MMP said...

another thinking time ahead...thank you