The things which the child loves remain
In the domain of the heart until old age.
The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls linger
Over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves.
~ Kahlil Gibran
What childhood place of joy still remains in the domain of your heart?
I will never outgrow the miniature train at the park, and I still enjoy my choo-choo rides as much today as I did way back when. Come travel with me around the track.
Weekends, the conductor stands at the gate
in his striped cap, cigarette perched between
his lips, collecting fare from kids and a few
adults along for the ride. When I hand him
my buck fifty, he knows I’m in for the long haul.
Ten rounds of breeze in my face, the same
gray canal reflecting trees and sky,
and in the midst of all this,
A momentary tunnel we pass before
seeing the light, the dark so fleeting we
hardly notice it’s there except for the screams,
fierce but brief. The whistle blows as
we pass the gate yet again
where parents wait, smiling
and waving back at their children.
Forgetting to be an adult, I wave
as well, relish the thrill of being in motion
while they stand still.
Like a homecoming queen, I wave with my
elbow to passing cars on Raleigh Road.
Who knows where the conductor will be
tomorrow when the train is closed. If he’s
like me he’ll go back to his Monday routine,
traveling in circles with the globe.
What youthful fun do you still enjoy with playful abandon?
“Train Ride” was first published in the literary anthology, Traveling Time.