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  • Marty Jalove

The Train

If you drive through Lake Zurich long enough, eventually you’re going to get an opportunity to enjoy a train. It’s inevitable. According to the website, there is an average of 17 to 21 trains on the Canadian-National (CN) Rail Line that roll through the heart of the Village every day. That’s a lot of trains; so many that they blend in with the background and are often easy to ignore. But occasionally they won’t let themselves be ignored. They get in our way, stop traffic, and make us rethink our navigational luck.


The other day, as I made a right onto Old Rand, I heard those oh-so familiar “ding-ding-dings” as the gates lowered just a couple of cars in front of me. I put my car in park, sighed, and prepared for the complementary minutes of meditation that were bestowed upon me.


I saw the driver in the first car slam his fist into his dashboard, beep his horn in protest, and hastily perform an elegant 16-point U-turn in order to distance himself from this dilemma. The second car wasn’t far behind. With the additional room, she was able to spin around much quicker. And with a semi-smirk and a tilt of her head, she bid me good-bye, bound toward better byways.


I inched forward, reclined, relaxed, and ready for the railway experience that rallied in front of me. Have you ever taken a close look at the railroad cars? Most are decorated with the signatures and slang of amateur artists begging to be heard. Sometimes you see some simple graphics and graffiti - and other times you are blessed with beautiful pieces of art. The cars are splattered with names and phrases that are often difficult to decider, but intriguing to absorb.


There is so much talent behind the many cans of spray whose hues decorate the rolling canvas. What intrigues a young painter to dare penalty for painting private property knowing that it will soon just drive away? It is placed upon wheels for others to hate, discriminate, or appreciate, all out of earshot of the artist. They are somehow content knowing that they will never get the distain or acclaim for the work that they’ve done.


Now I am not condoning tagging trains, but I can appreciate art as it flies by my eyes. And I wonder how many others take the time to appreciate the momentary gifts hidden among the many obstacles placed before us in life.


How do you react to things that don’t go your way? Are you like Driver #1, do you allow uncontrollable events to ruin your day? Are you like Driver #2, fast to follow, a little impatient, but less bothered and burdened?


I prefer to make the best of every situation, whenever I can. Like those many doodles, drawings, and spray-painted scrawling dancing past my glance, life is quick. Why not take a moment and appreciate those things that you may never have the opportunity to see again?


If you move too quick, life will just roll on by.


As seen in Stroll, Hawthorn Woods CC Magazine. Follow “Bacon Bits with Master Happiness” on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.


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