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Turning Point Decisions

Train SetYesterday I started clearing out some really old boxes from storage, when I came across this box. I took a deep breath and sat on a nearby brick for a minute, absorbing the enormity of what I was watching.

As background, I must inform you that this particular box (entitled Train Set) was probably packed in October 1998. That is about 21 years ago, give-or-take. When I left our house in Muckleneuk after a previous relationship, I moved to a smaller place and I was forced to scale down my hobbies.

And for 21 years I protected this box, I kept it dry, I stored it, I looked after it, I insured it, I carried it from house to house every time I moved.

I haven’t opened the box yet, maybe I never will. I don’t have to. I know exactly what is in there, every piece chosen carefully, each with a little bit of history. Abundant memories. The brown SAS diesel locomotive that pulled the Trans-Karoo (itself the theme of a beautiful Afrikaans song Transkaroo deur Herman Holtshauzen) which is today a collectors item. Or the passenger coach replica of the Blue Train, still running as a premium service to Cape Town. Or the little rails and shunts and trees and stations. Sigh.

TurnAnd as I sat there on my brick, my thoughts turned to how my life relates to trains and rails and stations. I could see, vividly in my minds eye, how, when the trains approaches a station, the railway starts breaking off into the various platforms. How the single railway from across the countryside splits into so many lines, one each for every platform, like the branches of a tree. The train has to make a decision before it enters the station to arrive at the intended platform.

Railway StationCan you see it? Imagine with me, if you will, a train approaching a station. The rails are there, they have always been. They are static, and each one only leads to the chosen platform. There are many platforms. There are passengers waiting for the train to arrive on a particular platform. And this train has to decide when to turn, to reach the destined platform.

Is not choosing an option? Of course … you will definitely reach some destination somewhere. Can you make a decision tomorrow? Of course … there are trains running all the time and you will only upset the schedule a little. Can somebody else decide for you by default? Of course … as long as you are willing to live by their choices. The rails don’t decide, they are just there to carry your weight when you roll over them, forever happy to oblige. YOU decide which train you are and where you need to go.

But can you go back? No, never. Trains always go forward to the next station, exactly like life does. Once made your decision sticks. We have to get today’s train in the station.

And maybe today’s decision is easy – This box is finished with me. I had to carry the burden for a long time, until I understood. I can let go of it now.

P.S. If you understand Afrikaans and you listen to the words of the song above, it is really weird that it says met jou wiele bring jy my liefde terug na my … die eindpunt is my begin … by letting go, you can get your love back. We just have to make the right choices now.


One Response to “Turning Point Decisions”

  1. Cassidy Durante Says:

    By the large volume of comments here, it seems that this article did it’s job and got people stirred up. Hey, at least it’s generating a conversation. That’s always a good thing.


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