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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wistful Dreaming

In the small southern town where I grew up we lived most of the year with windows open in our house. This not only let in fresh air but also the sounds of the world.   One of those sounds was that of trains coming through town in the middle of the night.  We lived about a mile from the railroad track that ran through town parallel with main street.  In the still of the night not only could I hear the train whistle, long before the train got to town, but also the rhythmic clickity clack of the cars on the track.   Both sounds would eventually fade and gave way again to crickets or perhaps the pitter pat of a spring rain.

This is the time of year in Washington DC when we sleep with windows open.  As I fall to sleep I can usually hear the click of footsteps coming and going on the brick sidewalk sometimes accompanied with snippets of conversation.   There are passing cars and of course the occasional distant, or near, sirene to which we become so accustomed in the city.  

Early this morning about 3:00 am I was awake to hear the soft song of a gentle spring rain on the window sill,  and then there it was - a train whistle transporting me to a time when pressure cookers provided supper, nails were used to build houses, ball bearings made bicycle wheels turn smoothly, and only soldiers had machine guns. 


  1. Precious memories shared from my past as well!

    And yet I refuse to live in terror, for then the terrorist's purpose has already been accomplished and the goal achieved.

  2. Lying in bed at night, I always dreamed of where those trains were going. Through Aiken, SC to Augusta, GA and places south towards Savannah they moved - clickety clack on clear dry nights. They always kept moving through the ever evolving countryside. Thanks for the reminder that we do not fear the terrors of the night, in whatever form they come.