Monday, November 28, 2005

Trains, thoughts....

In the middle of the night, driving to South Carolina, lost in thought, listening to music we neared my inlaws home and drove over the railroad tracks. The second we crossed, we saw glaring its lights, a train, engine running, no more than 10 feet from us. After we crossed I looked behind, the train appeared parked. Makes sense. If it was going, we'd be dead. No need to fear Kashif said, the guard rails were up. Maybe this would have been enough for me pre-law school.. but every other case I read are about people who don't pay attention combined with guard rails that malfunction. Sure, the decedent's family might win the suit, but does that give back what they really want? In retrospect we were in no real danger, but looking dead on to the lights of a train.... in the dead of the night on a rural South Carolina road... and then later hearing the distant rumbling of the train sounding its horn as it crossed those very tracks... just reminds me of the very essence of life, how fragile it is, how it hangs by a thread. Each day is a gift worthy of pure elation.

26 comments:

momyblogR said...

See. Now that, is scary. I have traveled in places like that and some RR tracks don't even have the rails that go down. I have always made it a habit to stop and look even if there is no train in sight.

At night, it's hard to tell if those beasts are moving or not and being blinded by the sun they have strapped to the front,
it's even worse.

mystic-soul said...

Thanks God !!

Believe me while driving at night on those rural roads, even careful driver can loose his life with train, deer, wild animals, parked vehicles etc.

The only thing you should say - thanks God !! and learn what is valuable in life.

(I always wondered in those situations - how the news will clip in next day newspaper about me...ok ok..I am weird !!)

Mia said...

That was a hair raising experience! I think of moments like that as God's way of saying, "Hey how ya doing? Just making sure you appreciate the gift of life."

say what? said...

Scary isnt it? facing ones mortality :)

say what? said...

Scary isnt it? facing ones mortality :)

streetsmart said...

you have a interesting yet sensitive personality

Anonymous said...

Each day is a gift worthy of pure elation. YES INDEED- Your BIGGEST fan ever!!

Jane said...

A few years ago an old friend of mine was driving in a rural area she had never been to before. She drove over some railroad tracks that were marked with a sign but had no guard rails or warning bells whatsoever. A train came around a blind corner and she and her passenger were killed instantly. She had no chance to react or to try to save their lives. This was not a reckless or careless woman. She was cautious and a very safe driver. She was only 25. My grandma Betty always tells me that life is too short and passes too quickly. She's right.

Anisa said...

definitely something to make you think...life certainly is precious.

Baji said...

Life is precious, indeed. Good post.

ASH said...

This is typical of the old rural South, lots of railroad crossings and if you are lucky a sign or guard-rails. Most countries elevate any train tracks up over existing roads (even though it is expensive to do so). We just put them through roads and then as an after-thought put up a sign. I guess I grew up with it so I don't even notice anymore.

Good to hear you were in SC over the holiday break........we were just a few miles south of you; eating tons of food of course.

Aisha said...

Oh my gosh, ash, mommyblogr, jane, mystic, that is scary to know that you guys kind of voiced my fear that a lot of these places have non existent guard rails, etc. :( Wow.... now we know. A very eyeopening but invaluable lesson.

Mia, you captured it just right. It's a little friendly "Boo!" from The Almighty

Vox, did you post twice because of my comment spam? :)

Anon, Anisa, Baji: thanks :)

Streetsmart: welcome and thanks for your kind words!

Tee said...

Absolutly. I'm sure your stomach dropped. I know mine did, just reading that.

There's some tracks that run through a major intersection in my city. One time the lights were blinking red but the rails hadn't come down. People were just driving over the tracks without even looking. I almost had a heart attack. I stopped at the edge of the tracks and looked both ways several times. There was no train in sight. Why were the lights blinking?

I sat there for over a minute, with a long line of cars behind me, the lights blinking and no train coming. I rolled down the window - no train sound. I looked both ways again. No train. I hit the gas and crossed the tracks. There was no train but I felt sick in my stomach knowing, as you did, how fragile life is.

wayfarer said...

Nothing like a jolt to remember how temporary life really is...

Glad you guys are okay.

Emory said...

A few years ago they changed the Christmas Parade route. It began on one side of the tracks, and yes, ended on the other.

it was fortunate that we did not make the CNN breaking news.

People don't give Trains a second thought. Ding ding... you're dead.

Fouad said...

"each day is a gift worthy of pure elation"

I just wish everyone would think that.

Very nice.

estarz said...

Life should be cherished. You never know...you could wake up in the morning and your life could be completely different. Its hard to imagine but those who have lost loved ones can tell you. Today one of our fellow Buffalo Bloggers lost his little son. Its a very sad day.

Peace.

Shabina said...

I stopped at a train crossing on my way home from work today. It was the first time the gates were ever down. After reading your post, I didn't trust that it was safe to go through...!

Aisha said...

Tee, that's good that you waited till you were sure. I guess you can relate. Though no real danger, the what ifs are powerful forces in moments like those.

Wayfarer,fouad, thanks:)

Emory: What happened? I can't believe no advance planning dealing with a train wouldnt have occured. I can't believe that didnt make headlines around the country. That is tragic.

Estarz: wow.... I'm so sorry to hear that....

Aisha said...

Shabs, they always say to look both ways before crossing even if the guard rails arent up, I guess especially based on these posts, I will heed that advice. I'm glad my post gave you chance for reflection in your real life :)

Kashmiri said...

U sound if you live propppper country-side. Redneck kinda area if-you-know-what-i-mean!

As long as you werent listening to Cotton Eye Joe kinda music, life is indeed beautiful :)

Yusuf Smith said...

This is typical of the old rural South, lots of railroad crossings and if you are lucky a sign or guard-rails. Most countries elevate any train tracks up over existing roads (even though it is expensive to do so). We just put them through roads and then as an after-thought put up a sign. I guess I grew up with it so I don't even notice anymore.

In this country trains passing over roads is common - they are called level crossings. A couple of years ago some guy decided to kill himself by stopping his car on a level crossing in front of a 125mph express train. Of course, he killed a load of other people as well. It's just too expensive to get rid of all these crossings. There are loads of them in south-west London, particularly the Sheen and Mortlake areas. You'd put the line out of action for ages, and it's a major commuter line. (Even though it would cure the big traffic delays as well as the safety risk.)

Nilofer said...

EEK!! South Carolina...thats enough to freak me out right there!!!

Aisha said...

Kashmiri- lol, no thankfuly we live in a nice cosmopolitan city but the inlaws do live in Columbia SC... not as country as it seems but plenty country for me :)

Welcome Yusuf that's so ridiculous what that man did killing himself and hurting so many others for his selfish pursuit. I guess the cities look at the cost to figure out what's worth it... this just isnt.

Nilofer: Hey!!! :) lol SC not that bad... c'mon :) for someone who goes waaay less than me you shouldnt complain ;-)

Hasan the Not-So-Great said...

That is a good perspective on life. I agree completly.

Saadia said...

"In retrospect...hangs by a thread". Was this run-on sentence supposed to make us think of runaway trains? Ok I'll stop it, lol. I think its a gift that you can pull out something meaningful from these types of experiences and they create more "shukr" (thankfulness).

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