I ran up the stairs of the little gray concrete building knowing that every second counted. Breathing hard with shallow gasps, I willed my knees to muster the strength to take a step, then another, and another… my quads were burning. Finally, getting to the top of the staircase, I could see the train. Oh, I can make it, I can make it! Doing a lightning mental measurement, that train seemed merely 30 feet away when the familiar 3 notes came on. That’s the warning that the doors are closing. Ding, ding, doooong! The doors shut just as I arrived directly in front of it. I stood there, staring at the doors, hoping that a fervent prayer of abracadabra, open sesame! would open them again. If only they decided to adjust the doors and re-open them. Just slightly. That’s all I need to squeeze into the void within.
Like a stoic mountain, the train stood there, unmoved by my silent plea. Then, slowly and assuredly, the train started to move. And, right there, my ordeal ended, relieved of the anxiety that 2 sliding doors can evoke under the pressure of time.
So, what do I do now… just wait? 30 minutes of sitting and waiting in the gray-cement glass enclosure is not an enticing proposal. I scanned the platform for others like me who are stuck on this concrete purgatory, but no one was visible. Just then, without the train to block the view and now having the space to breathe, the emptiness of the platform felt large. I began to notice the brightness around me, and can see the contrasts between concrete and asphalt, and between the wood of the tracks and the metal rails that flanked them. Glass gleamed and metal shone. And all because the morning sun arrived to be my companion.
I wasn’t alone on that platform after all. We started to walk. Up and down the platform we went. Like hand-in-glove, the sun enveloped my every step with warmth and light. In a rush to get to the train station, I missed my treadmill session that morning, and am I ever glad. Walking with the sun felt healthier, my senses activated by the illumination of the colours around me. I also felt less isolated with the greeting of the crisp air, the nod from an expanse of blue sky, and the green welcome of trees. Sure beats walking on the basement treadmill. This, I would look forward to, any day.
When the next train finally arrived, I felt full and content. A little bit infatuated with life and a bit drunk too, like I’ve had too much oxygen. I got into the train, sated. As I sat down and looked out the window, I wondered what this morning was about. What’s the lesson? Then, I smiled. Nature’s lessons are often simple yet profound. Today, Nature told me to miss the morning train more often, and walk with my friends on the platform.