January 22, 2020
blogger’s return journey – part two
- (enroute to Chicago from NYC): Last year, around this same time, I was on my way back to Arizona from Florida. There is some deja vu; although, I am gaining perspective, aware of what a difference one year can make. As I slump down in my seat at the front of the train car, where there is a lot of extra leg room, I can reflect on the distance between then and now.
- I’m at the hub – Chicago Union Station, where trains arrive from, and depart to various places in the country. I have five hours here, before my next train. While on the train from NYC to Chicago, I met a Jewish Orthodox family in the Cafe car. Birds of a feather flock together. After a refreshing morning tea and conversation, I felt rejuvenated. A good start of the day has a lasting benefit, throughout the rest of the day.
- Waiting inside the Great Hall, replete with a vaulted ceiling and modernized sky roof, has become my favorite preoccupation, while looking forward to my connecting train, here in Chicago. The Southwest Chief will take me back to Arizona from here. Once, a few years ago, instead of waiting inside of the station, I went to the Sears Tower (elevator up to the 104th floor for the skyview), and the Chicago Institute of Art. I got back to Union Station, right when the line for my train began to proceed to the gate. (Usually, I’m in line half an hour before boarding time). Now, I wait patiently, hoping for a pleasant journey to my destination.
- Yet, this is not a microcosm of life overall, for life is seldom a pleasant journey, nor is life designed as such. Rather, life may be more accurately understood as a series of challenges designed to test a person’s character, with the improvement of the soul along the way. The final destination is dependent on how this life is lived.
“This world is like a vestibule before the world to come; prepare thyself in the vestibule, that thou mayest enter into the [banquet] hall.” – Pirkei Avos 4:21