Life Journey

Life Journey

Where in your life does this story begin? Birth? Or part way through? Decide for yourself and let the journey begin …..

Following on from earlier articles, we join, once again journeying by train, a group of passengers who thought themselves to be content with life or alternatively were unwilling to look for other alternatives.

This was going to be a long journey. Many of us had stayed on the train and were fussing about with our baggage, despite having already been advised that we needed to take only what was absolutely necessary for life circumstances or illness. Nevertheless we held tightly to our baggage as we settled into our seats. This was to be the next of our many life journeys and one which we hoped might be the last leading to a much-yearned-for final destination. With less passengers than at the outset of our previous journey the number of carriages had been reduced and we found ourselves struggling to find storage space for our belongings. Looking around, this space was obviously inadequate with bags protruding from under seats or into the central aisle between the rows of seats. Many had to manage their possessions on their lap. Nevertheless the journey slowly got underway, our few remaining carriages being pulled by a delightfully slow and steady steam engine. Each carriage had enormous windows on both sides allowing a very pleasant view of the passing countryside during the daytime and a reflection of the carriage interior during the evenings. In both cases the inner and outer views could be pleasant or unpleasing depending on the perception and experience of the individual viewer. In some cases it led to a great desire to further experience the view or reflection or alternatively to refuse to acknowledge it, one way or the other.
Stops at stations along the way were frequent, some of them requiring the engine of our train to be refuelled with water and coal. At each stop we were encouraged to alight, explore and, if deemed necessary, to visit any aspect of the surrounding countryside that attracted us. Obviously this was to be a long journey as many had desires and visits to be fulfilled. The train waited patiently for those alighting to return. Others, peacefully settled, remained on the train, nothing in particular tempting them to leave their seats. At some stations meals and refreshments were available.
It became apparent that at some particular point those bringing baggage on their journey became dissatisfied with trying to manage their belongings in the limited space available and quietly removed various items, leaving them surreptitiously at some of the stations, the space within the carriage becoming more and more uncluttered. As it did so, a sense of camaraderie developed, of travelling together in friendship and trust, and we began to recognise and discuss our common and newly recognised purpose – to embark on this long journey to an unknown destination, leaving behind our earthly attachments, our aspirations, desires and inclinations.
Days and nights progressed, the train stopping, waiting and starting up again, the duration of the journey determined by the efforts of the passengers to clear their connection with their earthly bindings. After much time the train eventually reached the end of its journey and arrived at its destination. The passengers, now unencumbered and in a joyful sense of inner emptiness, nothingness, experienced a glorious realm of tranquility and peace. A realm not of the earth, but still on the earth, the power that had been drawing them forward on their journey. A journey which was now ending but never-ending. A new reality. A reality of true surrender, of inner stillness.
Their next train now awaited them.

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Date: April 23, 2024
Author: Pam Wattie (Australia)
Photo: Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash CCO

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