To Where?

Courtesy J. Koss

I don’t take pictures like this. There are friends in my life who do, however, and I welcome these on the doorstep of my life. Knocking at my everyday Facebook door are pictures of trees, dogs, landscapes, family members, and … train tracks – to name a few pop-up fantastics in my life. I answer willingly. I need to because life, on occasion, is too mundane with day-to-day push-throughs. Inviting pictures into my virtual home refocuses this over-active, buzz-brain of mine on the happy, peaceful track to somewhere. … To where? Just not sure.

I don’t need to know the destination and this is what makes these pictures delightful. Around the bend ahead is of no concern. Most are a snapshot of the “now” – a moment in time to be experienced … lived “through the lens” as one of my friends so aptly pens in a Facebook page. Another friend, Joel, is the photographer of record here. He aptly engineered a “now” moment for all of us to enjoy by tying in a few fall colors against the backdrop of rolling hills absorbing the rails … leaving us to wonder what’s left for anyone willing to take a mid-spring balanced walk into the future.

The time to come is not to be considered when in the here and now, though. Daylight gives us reflections on the top of rails worn down by decades of metronomically clanking metal wheels rumbling over rocks and ties. Spikes vibrated across active tracks as goods and people-folk travelled back and forth not thinking about what they rode upon. Joel stopped all this. The moment became stationary as time pulled in and blew a respite whistle. Rest.

Courtesy A. Sipes

Evening came. Aptly titled, “Heading down to the end of the day” – here is a doubly nice sunset over another disappearing “To where?” on my Facebook doorstep. Lush greens with pointed golden rails piercing into far mountain range … possibly the preservation of Joel’s single thought in this second picture by my other photographically gifted friend? I don’t know. In my limited circle, there’s doubt as to these two knowing one another. Whatever the case, within days, both posted glorious, inviting pictures extending a hand across to me. Being the slightly unbalanced one on one rail, I reach to grasp their pictures’ extended hand being offered to me. It’s nice to simply stand on the rail … get back on track with life. Being balanced and not worry about the “To where?” – if just for a Facebook moment – is nice.

These two pictures made me pause – if just for a short time. My future, and those who I love and care about, is never guaranteed. Around the bend for all of us is the great unknown, right? Tough decisions await some really close, heart-felt individuals in my life who, on balance, have invited astounding choices into their pasts. Decisions I don’t think I could have made, btw. Their life was derailed by unforeseen circumstances, but they continue onward … with vigor, determination, and love.

With the future not a certainty, we live our day-to-days trying to stay balanced. Between work and family obligations, staying on track is really difficult. On top of the normal “stuff”, there’s the larger issues of medical emergencies, financial problems, unexpected family issues, house repairs, etc … we never see coming. If I gave you a few minutes to make a list, I’m sure you’d come up with at least ten more of your own .. if not more. Life is just life and we do it until we can’t.

Sometimes I can’t, so I open my door to music, wonderful pictures, or anything willing to bring a little balance into my life. My over-active brain welcomes the visit for a short time as long as there’s room. I get all fulled-up with stress and consternation at times shoveling too much coal into the worry engine I’ve trained my life to be at times. I suspect this isn’t a problem uniquely mine. Be that as it may, I’m so glad I have at least two great friends who have an eye for photography …

… and a vision for the “now”.

The path forward is unknown. “To where?” … I certainly don’t know. Time has a way of sorting all this out. Pedantically, “Plan the work and work the plan”, I guess. Philosophically, one of the best quotes I ever read was the following:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

This is where we are. All of us. Now is the space. We have no choice but to hug it and make it ours. Whatever it looks like to you, embrace the moment. My two friends choose to see it through their cameras. I invite you to meet your “nows” on the doorsteps of life when you hear that gentle knock. The “To where?” will take care of itself in due time as you take that balanced walk into the future.

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