When I was a child we lived near a mill that had a railroad that entered and exited the mill. Each day there was constant noise from the train that became part of the neighborhood sound system. The train whistle blew many times during the day, and also at night. It never seemed to interrupt conversations or cause me sleepless nights. In fact it was comforting to know that the train was there bringing supplies and goods in and out of the mill where my Father worked. One day the train stopped running. It seemed as though everything stood still. Even the birds stopped singing. My mom, sister and I waited patiently by the door for my father to come home. We wanted to ask him what happened to the train. As he entered the house we sensed something was wrong. The mill was closing, and my dad had lost his job. It was a sad day for our family.
As I grew older, hearing the sound of a train brought back a flood of emotions. The train whistle often puts me to sleep when other are disturbed. The train whistle would signal play time in my head when I was stressed out. And sometimes the train whistle would scream out that being a child was over and it was time to grow up. To this day I still love the sound of a train. It’s a reality check that seems to keep me on the right track.