‘Today’, I told myself. ‘Today will be the day’. I held this thought for a moment, then let it drift from the forefront of my mind. I wondered if I had everything that I needed. I was sure that I had checked and checked again, but still it was best to make sure, again. Papers, money, tickets, my bag. Yes, I was fine. ‘Just try to relax. Sit back. Enjoy the view. Just breathe, ok. You’ve got this’. I hoped that nobody around me could sense the pep talk I was giving myself, so I looked away, just in case.
For a while I was away from here. Perhaps it was just what I needed. The enforced rest that this journey seemed to bring. Only, it was more like an interrupted sleep. I was lost in the blur of trees and train tracks, of riverbeds and fields and animals grazing. Of city and country intermittently giving way to one another.
I tried to close my eyes for a while. Tried to sleep, or at least to rest. But I was a note in the middle of a symphony of crackling newspapers, wind whistling through the windows, conversations in unknown tongues, the sounds of coughing and the shuffling of feet, as well as metal upon metal and the rhythm of the tracks.
I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t rest for thinking about, imagining all the possibilities of this encounter, and it made me wonder were the people around me travelling to someone, or were they simply traveling to a new place, or perhaps an old and familiar one? Were they solitary in their pursuits, or like me, was this day, today possibly one that they had hoped for, prayed for, one in which their paths might converge or reconnect with someone else on their journey?
And as we hesitantly snatched furtive glances, passengers curious about each others journeys, I wondered were our own stories converging in ways we didn’t yet realise? I knew we weren’t here by accident. And perhaps someday, we would have the blessing of hindsight that foresight could never afford us with to see the significance of today in each others stories.
Maybe someday that would be of more importance to me. But today there was only one person I cared to meet. I checked my papers again, my bag, my ticket. It was almost my stop. I held my breath knowing that I would never feel ready, but I had to take this step. If not today then maybe it would be never. ‘Today’ I told myself. ‘Be Brave. Today’. (c).