I jotted down pages and pages of life lessons on my trip, recorded both in my phone’s app thingie and in a paper Moleskine notebook. The phone is handy (I am giving it a quick glance right now), but the Moleskine is in the house (I am in the backyard typing in the beautiful weather while it lasts). My thoughts are still ripe from the harvest and my memory jogged by my cyber world, so I’ll just wing it this post and rely on my handwritten notes for later thought sharing.
My heart’s desire is that you will be inspired to allow your soul to learn beyond whether your body is home or beyond.
Practically speaking, I reaffirmed that practicality is not a bad word.
Specifically, if one is going on a train trip, learning physical therapy stretches can be really helpful. (Ask your doctor first.)
I may have looked funny stretching arms and legs in the snow in the crisp, very freezing, wow-it-felt-good-to-clear-out-my-lungs dry air in La Junta, Colorado, but who got back on the train refreshed and ready to rest with her feet propped on the coach window? Me, that’s who.
Socially speaking, I learned that people are generally in pain and generally trying to do the best they can with the pain they have.
It may be physical pain, emotional pain, relational pain, self-inflicted pain, background pain or future fears pain, but humans hurt. God wants to help, but He respects our independence if we want it.
I met people who would rather have their pain than seek God in His Bible, at the best, for answers or, at the least, for hope and reassurance that He won’t abandon us in the struggle.
It was heartbreaking. But I didn’t absorb, I just observed. And prayed.
We can’t, however, come home unchanged by our experiences.
Family speaking, I learned: I am loved beyond.
I felt more like a part of my family than I have in a very long time. Maybe it’s because there was no funeral, no family crisis, no mixing of vast differences of expression of grief, clinging to sanity in any form it might be grasped.
It was very, very nice to be loved and to love. To play, to crochet, to laugh, to binge watch shows, to talk politics, to eat and drink together, to be real. It was such a gift. It is such a gift to be loved just the way I am.
Connectedly speaking, I learned that I need to know that people where I boarded the first train care, so when the fears of returning reared their emotional heads, I had some things and some ones to look forward to.
It was reassuring knowing that people were praying for me, that God was answering those prayers, and that their love would be waiting for me when I stepped off the train and unpacked my suitcase for a season.
Two More … Uh, Maybe Not
I had two more thoughts whistle through my mind like a train blowing its horn, announcing its passing. But just like the trains going through tiny towns across the America, those last two thoughts didn’t stop to leave off their letters, passengers just blowing through town on their way to somewhere else.
Oh dear, before I get to wondering where forgotten thoughts travel when they are forgotten so very quickly, I think it’s time I put away the laptop, open up the stock pot and get some chicken and dumplings bubbling for me and my girl, who is down the road and over the river learning lessons herself in a college classroom.
One Thing About Lessons
That’s one thing about lessons: no matter where they go when we forget them, we can know that there are new ones to learn just down the track.