Take the 7:12am either north or south from Trenton during the month of October and you’re bound for a beautiful ride. The sun rising in the horizon paints the clouds in glorious colors, reflecting back in the many longs, lakes, and rivers along the route.
The jerk of the train, the flickering of the cabin lights, and the blur of buildings as they pass by my window possess a familiarity about them that I did not expect. That ‘at home’ feeling which I have been longing or seems to have surprised me – here, on the Amtrak train.
These trains hold a place of so many memories. I have slept on the train, been sick on the train, been in love on the train. I have written countless reflection papers, done hours of reading, and made many life decisions all from the comfort of my Amtrak seat. On the train is where I have done some of my best thinking, have prayed my deepest prayers, and have cried the most heartfelt tears.
I have also met many interesting people aboard the train. Around me now I see the familiar characters. There is the college student sleeping as she makes her way home for the weekend; the business man checking his email before his morning meeting in the city; the grandfather reading the paper as he anticipates another visit with his grandchildren. My part has changed, though. No longer am I the college girl jumping on the train in my hoodie and jeans with a suitcase full of dirty laundry. Now I am the young woman who boards the train with a suitcase and the SEND display bag, sits in the first available seat, and stares out the window… thinking.
I think about this new stage of life, and I think how thankful I am to have a place full of memories that can travel with me anywhere in the USA I want to go. And I smile because for me, Amtrak is home.