The 2 a.m. just passed through; it seemed especially long tonight. I forget where I was when I first heard as an adult a train in the distance at night, but it took me back big time, and I took note. Later my brother suggested the "original" for me mighta been the Rock Island, whose tracks ran near the apt we lived in while the tornado damage to our place was fixed---when I was just turning 4.
I do remember my Uncle Ed, my mother's favorite uncle, telling a story of the train going past their little South Dakota town with an effigy of the Kaiser hanging off (and being burned?), & how everybody ran down to the tracks to meet it & celebrate the end of the war. Hearing of it I felt some sense of history but mostly lots of romance about that train, and everybody hearing it go by at night. The horn, which Rob sez happens when there's an "at-grade crossing," sounds so rich & deep on a summer night like this. When the H-bomb & I were back in Manhattan, I did used to hear it again sometimes. Low rent side of town & all.
There are two people sleeping in the study. It's good to have them here. It's the second night in a row I've heard the 2 a.m. go rattle-roll-rumbling through.
In my ideal vision of where I'd most love to live, hearing that train in the distance is in the Top Ten most desired traits.
A willow, a birch, and a cottonwood are three others.