I am lying on my side in bed reading an Ann Rule mystery book, it is very exciting. I love reading, it takes me away-just away to no special place, but it’s a good place. As I turn toward the window I see a dense fog, it wafts through the street eerily. The street lamp with amber glow, prisms outward, emphasizing the thickness of the night air. I am taken by the mystical sight of the shrouded air.
The freight train sound comes from far away running across the eastern shore of the Delaware River. A relic of old coal cars and passenger trains -a bellow in the slight wind-the breakage of the night splitting the fog in half, it is heard long before it appears. The black engine and the grey freight cars rattle over old wooden track onto the trestle with a deep rumble of an old man’s voice, a wheeze and a whistle as he chews tobacco with a spit-filled mouth of nicotine. Its darkness fills the amorphous night, splitting the fog in half like a razor. The sound is spellbinding and eerie. I am entranced filled with the clickedy clack the clickedy clack of the wheels hitting the steel track. It passes through with a grumble and a tout. It is 10.05 pm. Then Belvidere is silent again.
It reminds me of the old British Rail steam trains in England that I rode as a child, always on an adventure, whether to London or to the coast of Kent. I sat in Second Class of The National Rail trains From Folkestone, Kent to London, one hour and forty five minutes. Eight seats and plenty of rack space to store your luggage, all I had was my hippie bag, my notepad and pen and lots of anticipation. With bided attention, pen and paper in hand, scribbling notes, swishing my hand back and forth to clear the steam off the grimy window from my warm breath. I loved my adventures, travelling from my seaside little town of Folkestone to London-destination Carnaby Street. Where else would a fledgling hippie go? To the source, of course!
Carnaby Street, in Soho, with the mods and hippies, I was the latter! A hippie in the making, going against the grain of my military, stern family, and social stance. I wanted to see “Small Faces”, “The Who” and “The Rolling Stones”. Visit “Lady Jane” the boutique, although my meager part-time jobs as paper-girl and in a bakery and even a factory gave me little money…
Me, one of the British Elitists with heritage dating back to Rob Roy Macgregor in 1671, having to hold the banner high with pride, I succumbed to the sixties with nary a look back.
So it is, as I recall the best of times and the worst of times. I was not able to follow the path I chose, but the path that was chosen for me.
It is here in Belvidere, this small delightful hamlet on the Delaware, I spend my days often dwelling on the past, but more into the future. Have I become what I wanted to be, what I sought for all these years? Yes I have, and I am in an almost perfect place with peace with who I am, a writer still with pen and paper at hand and the rumble of the train comin’ round the track.
As they say it’s as much about the journey as the destination. I lay back on my pillow and dream of more and more words.