Riding Old Number Two at three miles an hour gave us a nostalgic afternoon in Garibaldi.
We noticed details on both sides of the track, like frogless lilly pads. Our companions in the car were smiling. Neighborly. Kids and dogs, lunches and kites mingled with the sound of the whistle which echoed an emotion filled wail over the valley. It bumped against the foothills before bouncing out to dissolve on the beach in a moan.
Sometimes I feel the loss of old ways. Kids playing outdoor neighborhood games in an empty lot. Milk in bottles. Picnics. Rustic camping. Hand cranked ice cream.
It feels like everything is electronic, big, instant, synthetic, and throw away. Even marriages, families, babies, and beliefs.
The train ride to Rockaway Beach from Garibaldi was only half an hour. It seemed longer. Deliciously so. Waiting at every crossing ~ where the track intersected with a side road ~ a cluster of people stood waving and smiling, greeting us while trying to get the whistle to respond.
Families playing. Lovers loving. Friends having fun. Everyone greeted that old steam train as if it were a long lost friend. An intimate bond of understanding and deep longing roped us all together, instantly. It brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye for some unknown reason.
Maybe it's because people still do such simple things. What a relief. I forget sometimes.
Perhaps there was a frog sitting on a lilly pad watching it all? Smiling.