Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Magical Moment 40, "Another Train"

Last summer, I was in my hometown of Lincoln, NE eating lunch with my mother and grandma at the Lincoln Foundation Garden – a cozy downtown garden square where during the summer, local artist perform at lunch hour. Employees pack a brown bag lunch and emerge from their offices in suits and skirts to enjoy the music and scenery. It’s also where my mom used to take my older sister and I after swimming lessons at the YWCA and the library to buy us rainbow popcorn when we were little girls.

That particular day, we were in for a treat. A charming acapella group called the Baby Needs Shoes Trio was performing energetic renditions of the Andrew Sisters songs as well as some quirky, comedic songs about the ups and downs of womanhood, making the audience smile and keeping us happily entertained. They began a slower, more serious song and it soon caught my attention. In fact, I suddenly hung on every word and could not take my eyes off them.

They were slightly older ladies, one even made several mentions of her granddaughter. They were all in matching costumes and it was very apparent how much thought and effort went into their hours of practice. I had a feeling the song was special and personal to each of them and they portrayed that emotion to the audience. The song is now special and personal to me as well. The chorus gave me chills,
There's another train, there always is
Maybe the next one is yours
Get up and climb aboard another train
It may be because I've always had a fascination with train songs or maybe because the acapella harmonies cast an enchanting spell over the audience, suddenly hushed with attentiveness. But something made me systematically think about all the women in my life and how this song might mean something special to them as well.

First I thought about my Grandma V., sitting next to me. I probably inherited much of my stubbornness and passion for music from her. I certainly got her incredibly detailed ear for music. She’s the only other person I know who hears those little things in a song that no one else pays any attention to. I thought about how she had to unexpectedly start again in her life with five children to raise. Independent and strong, she didn’t allow herself to stay down. In a situation when many give up, she “climbed aboard another train,” carried on, and still pursues her passion for music, art, and poetry while keeping her family at the forefront of her priorities.

My Grandma D. experienced the worst kind of pain imaginable. Twice. Losing a loved one can paralyze people for the rest of their lives. But not my grandma. She is still the glue that holds her family together. The reason we have happy Christmases and Sunday picnics. Her house will always feel like a home as long as she is there. And in her late 60s, she fulfilled her life-long dream and learned how to play the piano. I couldn’t be more proud.

My mother, who spent the last 28 years raising her 3 daughters and only working factory jobs when necessary, set a goal for herself. She found a career field she loved, senior medical care, and took it a step further earning her CNA license. With nearly 30 years since her last day in school, she completed the course, top in her class and is most certainly one of the best employees at her new job.

My older sister, my role model, and playmate since the day I was born, is watching her train ride away without her on it. Experiencing a wound so deep can cause people to give up. But she is picking up the pieces, fighting for the betterment of her and her children’s lives. With mountains of potential, I know she will find the opportunity and the train meant for her, and with commitment and support, she can accomplish anything.

My little sister, so young with thousands of railroad tracks laid out before her spanning all directions and her pick of trains to board. Any road is open for the choosing and it is my earnest prayer than she never passes up a presented opportunity or has any regrets about her chosen path.

I thought about my own path, how my mind tells me I missed my chance or I’m starting too late or that time is a tickin’ and I’m running behind everyone else. I didn’t know much about the ladies on that stage, but I had the feeling they didn’t start their group in their 20s. They worked hard, saw an opportunity, and made it work. It is never too late to fulfill a dream. There is always another train. Maybe the next one is YOURS. All you have to do is climb aboard.

**Click here to hear a recording by the Poozies. Select "Another Train" in the right hand box.

“Another Train” by Pete Morton

The beginning is now and will always be
You say you lost your chance, then fate brought you defeat
but that means nothing, you look so sad
You've been listening to those who say you missed your chance

There's another train, there always is
Maybe the next one is yours
Get up and climb aboard another train

You feel you're done there's no such thing
although you're standing on your own your own breath is king
The beginning is now don't turn around
Regrets of bad mistakes will only drain you

There's another train, there always is
Maybe the next one is yours
Get up and climb aboard another train

We crawl in the dark sometimes and think too much
Then we fill our heads with crazy things that only break our hearts
and I know you've seen what the earth can do
When it's dragging down another load of worrisome fools

There's another train, there always is
Maybe the next one is yours
Get up and climb aboard another train

I know it's hard when you feel confused
You can crown yourself with fear now you feel you cannot move
You're building worlds that don't exist
Imagination plays the worst tricks

There's another train, there always is
Maybe the next one is yours
Get up and climb aboard another train


Debbie said...

Don't let the train pass you by, I believe in you.

Rick said...

One thing leads to another and I found myself here. Very inspirational ! Thought provoking.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives ... got a train to catch !