Powered by Squarespace
This area does not yet contain any content.
« The true joy in life | Main | Using Nature's Compass »

Waiting for the station

I've used this story, attributed to Robert Hastings, many times with groups from all backgrounds to describe the tension between want, need and what makes us smile. It feels even more relevant, and a touch ironic, to read it on the backslide of the worst recession in two generations.

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are travelling by train. Out of the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke rising from chimneys, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillside, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there our dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering – waiting, waiting for the station.

“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry”.

When I get that job...

When I buy a new SLK Mercedes!”

When I put my last child through college..

When I finally pay off the mortgage...”

When I get my next promotion...

When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily every after...

Sooner or later we must realise there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive people mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.


Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>