There’s a railway track that runs smack in the middle of my hometown, from north to south, dividing the east from the west, or the town between those who stay in the ‘town’ area and those who stay on the farm. My running route every evening happens to be from the one end of the track to the other end, and back. It’s only about five kilometres but it’s sufficient especially since it gets dark really early nowadays.
I remember as a child taking my father to the train station every Sunday evening as he had to board the train to go work somewhere, building his career and essentially building his life. Train transportation was big in the eighties and the South African economy depended on it as one of its main means of transportation. Trains used to transport passengers and all sorts of commodities on a daily basis.
But things have since changed. With the advent of democracy, our government has reduced its dependence on rail transportation substantially. And even though trains used to be much more cost-effective, it was also a lot slower. With the world changing at an alarming rate, I suppose rail transportation was too slow to keep up with the immediate need for…well, just about everything.
Where once was a beaming train station with lovers meeting, and tears of loved ones greeting, is now an abandoned empty building deserted and vandalised. Nowadays, we hardly see any trains run through my little hometown anymore.
However, tonight, while doing my usual running route, by the time I reached the other end of the rail line, I literally stopped to see a train approaching. I got the greatest satisfaction seeing the train as this has never happened to me before. How wonderful it was to see this massive beast of a machine approaching me. I felt small and insignificant in the presence of this great monster.
Legend has it that if you see a train run through my town, which hardly ever happen nowadays, that fortune will come your way. Needless to say that I had an extra bounce in my step running back, down the railway line. I’m excited for the future. Apparently it holds great things. It was written in the tracks.
Till next time.