The hub of a small village in years past was often the railroad station. For the boys playing marbles in the sand near the tracks, it was a pretty quiet place until the train whistle blew. Then the gates would swing down and kids quickly scatter to safety. Simultaneously, the attendant would come out of the station with others to await arrivals. Others clasped a ticket to board the train. Occasionally, a uniformed service man would descend the steps to the clapping excitement of all. Reunions of family members were joyous even for those unrelated. Before the “all aboard” was called by the conductor, departing passengers reached out for one last hand shake or hug. This pause between arrival and departure focused entirely on close relationships. One wonders in our race against time if we lose that privileged encounter with the special people in our lives. What makes us pause with loved ones?
By Ruth Feeney, OSB