Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm sick, but I'm so very well.

Let me explain.

Yes, the flu has dampened the bathmat of Rancho Phlegmmy. I felt it coming on in a wicked cough on Tuesday during work and by the evening, the devilish malady had achieved full blossom, my body aching and muscles tight as though I actually had exercised recently. egad. I thought this must be what it feels like to be very muscular and work out all the time. Yuck. :P

BUT, Himself has very graciously given a lot of attention to massaging my sore ankle, and it's almost as though I didn't sprain it 9 days ago, so that is is a big plus to add to the physical status column. Hopefully I will feel well enough to go to school and work today, but we shall see.

After dark last night, I had to drive into nearby Burg to take care of an errand which absolutely would not keep. I was pretty miserable, but would have been equally miserable at home.

I drive to and from Town along a rail line, and the line runs less than a mile from my home. I love the sound of the train and when I moved here, I quickly innured to the sound and on the rare times I notice the horns blaring, it's always a comfort sound to me. I think I can't do better than I wrote in late December 2003 as I made a trek out to see my grandmother in Arizona:

Driving deep into the night across West Texas. The crescent moon was a companion as we left the plains for the mountains. It sat like a cup on its back, blackness and stars spilling from its upturned bowl. Its arc followed our progress westward until finally it wafted earthward like a great celestial toenail clipping. Now filtered through more layers of atmosphere, the moon donned an orange glow to match the approaching lights of El Paso.

Civilization is like a train in the desert: we're big, loud and and make a terrible noise, but in the end we are as temporal as anything. Only the tracks we leave will note our passing.

The impermanence of life is actually one of its greatest comforts. Every day and every breath is something to be treasured. Reflection is a gift, as well. I make a lot less money than I have in decades, but I'm so puppy-rich that it's ridiculous. I'm so very, very blessed in my little furballs who make every day a joy. I try to be like them in the way every day is an adventure and the way no time is wasted worrying about uncontrollable crap like death or a society at large that seems increasingly ensconced in the proverbial handbasket to a Not Pleasant Place. I'm not always successful, but occasional reminders come around and bring me back to a place of gratitude for my life and all my dear ones, two-footed variety as well. :)

So, anyhoo, last night I drove back home from my quick errand. In Neighboring Burg, a traffic jam is pretty much 3 or 4 cars at a 4-way stop. This is provincial, big-time. And I'm grateful NOT to be spending hours of my life in DFW vexed by traffic. I don't miss that. I have so much more time to spend at my own tasks, my own amusements, my own studies. As I turned right on my street in town, I noticed in the rearview mirror the lights at the railroad crossing come on, the bars lowering to block traffic. In that Sunday-driver way I learned so well from my folks, instead of heading on down the street homeward, despite my illness, I hung a left and turned back to the main road to see whence came the train. No traffic around, I sat at the stop sign as the train approached from the east, its two behemoth engines thinking they could pull a long file of empty coal cars to the west. I sat watching, listening and feeling as the electric zing thrummed through my legs, the palpable and awesome power of the engines. Isn't that just incredible?

The trains are moving. Men and women are working and going places and taking things places, and it's XX o'clock and all is well. I'm working and going places and I'm so very lucky that school is an option for me, and I pray all goes smoothly so that I can work soon as a Nurse and really help other people in a meangingful and profound way. All is well.

I hope your day is wonderful.


Old NFO said...

People and places... Yep and the railway used to be the BEST way to get from one to the other!

Anonymous said...

Whenever I am stopped waiting for the train to pass I roll down the windows regardless of the weather so I can listen to every percussive rhythm.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the reminder. I'm sick today too, but truly so very well. And I love the trains. I've always counted the cars. There was one that ran just behind my house growing up. I would watch the train and dream of hopping on one and go wherever it stopped. I always imagined it would be someplace wonderful.

Matt G said...

Have I ever told you what a good writer you are, Phlegmmy?

You really are. I say that, knowing a few very good ones.

The thing is, the work you do now is meaningful, too. Ask the clients if the work matters. It does.

When you become a nurse, that thoughtful point of view will be one of your best traits to your patients.

And while I recognize the necessity of the train system in our economy (it is said that a ton of cargo can be moved 100 miles for a dollar. I suspect that saying is outdated now, but it's impressive to say.), I sure enough do find myself cursing their noise in my day-to-day life. :)

Thud said...

A great post, on my American trips the sight of freight trains always fills me with awe.