On a train, going from France to Switzerland, I remember staring out the window, simply appreciating the fine scenery unfolding as we ripped through a wide open welcoming space, crossed over tall bridges, and moved swiftly along green hillsides, and over wooded valleys.
There were a few stops along the way. People got off and people got on the train. Some sat silently and some engaged in friendly conversations. I heard many conversations on that journey, in strange languages. A family sitting across from me spoke in English. It was a man, a woman, and a child. Truthfully, by then, even English sounded strange in my ears. It took a moment before I recognized it, and I remember thinking, ‘ah!’
They got off at one of the stops. They had reached their destination. I watched them greet a woman who was waiting there. They all hugged, intimately. The woman took a hold of one of the suitcases, and together, they walked away. There were some, though, who were on the train the whole ride.
This morning, it occurred to me how similar life is to that journey. People come into your life and people leave. There are those who stay silently. They don't require much from you. You know they’re there, and it's enough that you know they're there. There are those who take your attention. You see and hear them, but you never quite understand them. Then there are those who require your energy. They actively engage you. You are familiar with them. You understand them.
Funny, though, you can get to a place where they, too, begin to sound strange in your ears. Before long, they disengage you, attach on to someone else, and walk away. You imagine this is as far as you were meant to go with them. Last year, 2016, was a lot like that. People reached their destinations. Familiar voices disengaged.
I pulled out of 2016 with new people. Some sharing thoughts about the new possibilities, the new relationship, and the new experiences ahead. It’s the essence of the journey I suppose. Life’s journey. There are more stops ahead. I’m sure. Still, I will forever appreciate the journey. The welcoming open spaces. The bridges. The hills. The valleys. Those staying silently the whole ride.