21 words: Chasing Trains

Dipping into ditches, the train kissed my heels. It brushed my forehead while chasing the sun, and led me safely home.

 

Two days ago, I drove eleven hours from Edmonton to Vancouver, my new home. I have never had a more Canadian experience than that drive. I stopped to gawk at elk on the highway in Jasper. I heard, for the first time, an elk call (it’s mating season, I will later learn). I saw flocks of birds fly across the perfect backdrop of mountains.

And I really did chase a train, or it chased me. I passed it in Jasper. When I stopped to take photos further on, it caught up to me. I drove next to it until it disappeared into the mountains, reappearing later next to a river. I stopped in a town, hours later, and saw it again. I’m sure they were different trains, not just one. And I’m sure the physics of that happening all adds up or whatever. And even as I saw the train over and over and was actually, truly awed every time, I reprimanded myself for romanticizing something so common. I don’t like to do that. I don’t like to sound cliché. Yet, even with all that, I couldn’t help but feel comforted. And I still do.

 

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