Last week, in the early morning quiet, the sound of a train whistle came rolling in through the open bedroom window. The two longs, a short and another long of the crossing warnings came through distantly and then closer and closer as the train rolled through crossing after crossing. It faded away as the train was moving on to its destination.
I have heard train whistles all my life. Even had the opportunity as a kid to blow a train whistle. Last week, thought it struck me as being one of my comfort sounds. Okay, maybe that is a little out there for some of you but I learned early on that if the trains are running, then things are fine.
I didn’t grow up with a railroader in the family but a goodly portion of my dad’s job when I was growing up was working with the railroad getting the marble shipments out by rail. And in the days before computers this meant logging the car numbers, their weighs, etc. by hand. It meant working closely with the railroad through the station master.
At any rate, last week as I was waking up for the day, a feeling of calm came over me and it dawned on me that it was the whistle that was doing it. For a split second it was like I was transported back 45 years ago to my childhood room with the window open and having those whistles come flooding in.
While there has been a lot of water running under the proverbial bridge and not everything in the world is peaches and cream, for that split second it was reassuring that the trains were running and everything was right with the world in that moment.