I’m turning 60 in a few months. Just ran an easy half marathon on Sunday. Went to meet the sprinkler repairman a few days ago at my son in-law’s new home while he met with prospective new clients in the city. I sit home at night watching my twin grandchildren while my wife and kids are painting my daughter’s new home.
It struck me that I had finally arrived at a new station in life. It was strange to think of my life as a ride on the E train from its starting point in Far Rockaway, weaving its way to its final stop somewhere I believe in upper Manhattan. I had never taken it more than halfway when I attended Brooklyn Tech during my high school days. In fact the mystery and fear still exist, along with the excitement of knowing what the rest of the line looks like as you pass the Dekalb Ave. station in Brooklyn.
It truly amazes me when I read about the trips and exciting journey many of you all take. You allow yourself to witness life and the world, with little trepidation and childlike excitement. It is something I have not yet learned how to do. Yes, I do the exciting things. I flew my own plane, sail my own boats, hiked through the mountains alone upstate with just the food on my back, snowmobile the Vermont Mountains, and bike the endless back paths that surround me.
I still feared the release of travel, in both time and distance. The flight to a foreign country or the expectation of old age. By keeping my life close at hand, I falsely believed life would be safer, more enjoyable and most of all predictable. Reaching the next station was always a fear. It amazed me how time stretched when you did not know when you would get to a destination, but the return to known spots seemed so much shorter. Maybe that was my way of making life go on so much longer?
Reaching today’s station has been one of the most exciting times of my life. I am beginning to realize that each station has its meaning in my life, and that its purpose is to teach us how to keep living and how to enjoy. Yes, they bring sorrow and tragedy along the way, which is why they are stations. As sure as we pull into them, we have to move on at some point. Sometimes we leave things we love most in life at them, sometimes we find those we love most in life and move forward with them.
What I know for sure is that we keep moving. And we should. Why would anyone want to be a prisoner in space and time, to no longer learn, live and grow? That is why God made each stop delicious enough to enjoy, but not so good that we would want to ever stay there forever. Of course even the most difficult ones we pass through become strong memories, in fact the strongest ones we remember, of how we moved through life and really lived.
It’s ok to slow down for the really great ones, and try to pull away from those that are difficult and hurtful. We all control the throttle, which is the free will that was God given. With all the goodness we own, hand tight on the throttle, enjoy the ride and move on, there so many more stations to pass through.
As far as my travels go, I better start seeing the world. I just have to convince myself there is more outside of the E train to travel on. Enjoy.