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  • Writer's picturesteve richardson

And the next train arriving...

I’m in lovely mid-Wales, enjoying the rolling nature of the landscape and the language.

I’m staying in an ancient hamlet called, Caersws. Pronounced, (Kia-Seus) if you are interested.

A place occupied by the Romans against a backdrop of resentful Celts and Druids.

Still, the place is beautiful and it has a small train station, servicing a single line from the western coastline of Wales to the midlands of England.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, people generally look up the track to watch out for the approaching train. Subconsciously anxious if it’s on time or actually coming. It’s as if your destination - down the line, is of little importance.

And as I was waiting for my train, with the track disappearing into the far distance in both directions, I thought the empty track a wonderful metaphor for life.

No matter which way you look, the track is empty. And life, is a little like that. The past slowly fades and disappears into the distance, while the future is a journey unknown. Each a factor in our lives – each offering no control over what has transpired in there past or what is to be.

We stand on the platform of the present, gazing up and down the track of our life, deciding which has our greatest attention. But gazing is a passive exercise. It lacks intent, passion and movement. Gazing offers revelry and melancholia. Perhaps there is also a chance that gazing too long into the past can hold us prisoner.

But the present is not a time to stop and gaze. It is, I know, a common feature of modern esoteric thinking (adopted from the past by the way) that we should live in the moment. And this, at its core, is a worthy sentiment and intention.

But many have misinterpreted ‘living in the moment’ as a form of mild acceptance of life’s sometimes arbitrary and fickle nature. But that’s not true. To live in the moment is to understand what our thoughts and emotions are telling us about where we are – no matter the circumstance or environment. Because therein, lies true growth, understanding, gratitude and connection.

Each moment in life, like each station, has a different landscape and often, a different destination. And so, it’s up to us to absorb the scenery no matter how bleak or how amazing.

Gazing up or down the line is either a faded dream or a hopeful paradise. But life… real life, resides on whatever platform, in whatever station you’ve decided to be at.

And so, can I urge you - please don’t miss the train when it does finally arrive. Because sometimes, as we all know, it might be a long wait for the next one we wish to board.

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