So it was that yesterday I found myself taking a lot of photos on the train ride home. It was raining, and I was having fun with the water drops beading on the window. As the train moved, the patterns behind the drops changed. Much of the ride was just a blur of green, as we sped past trees and undergrowth, but as we slowed coming into stations, the patterns would get more varied.
As I’ve mentioned several times¹, I’ve started taking the train into work more often. I really like taking the train, and in some ways it is more relaxing than driving: I can read (or even nap) during a big chunk of the commute, and don’t have to worry about city parking or traffic. On the other hand, it takes longer. When I drive, my commute is about one hour each way to get to work. When I take the train, it takes a bit more than 2 hours each way. A good hour of this each way is spent sitting on the train, the rest is spent driving to and parking at the train station one end, and taking the T and walking on the other end.
Yesterday’s homebound commute took 3 hours and 15 minutes. Because of a tree.
At the station 2 before mine, the train started to pull out of the station, and then stopped again. After a few minutes, the conductors came through to announce that there was a large fallen tree on the tracks ahead, and that it was too large for the train to push through. It apparently fell from one side of the tracks, where the root ball was still intact and partially buried, across both tracks, and smashed into the fence on the other side. We were told that a track crew had to be called to cut through the tree to let the train pass. There were murmurs of passengers volunteering to help move the tree, but the conductors believed the tree was too big², and the passengers were told they weren’t allowed to, anyhow. (I’m sure it was a liability issue.) We were told it would be only about a 20 minute wait. I translated that in my head to mean at least half an hour. Since we were still at a station, passengers were allowed to get off the train, and some probably called to get picked up there. Others waited out on the platform.
I was comfortable sitting on the train, and had my camera, phone and various electronic devices handy to keep me busy. John had already picked up Phoebe and Theo, so I didn’t have to worry about being late. I relaxed and took many more shots of raindrops on the window and rain splashing on the platform.
After about 45 minutes, the official track crew had still not arrived. But suddenly all the passengers hurried back onto the train, and we were told we were leaving. Apparently, the group of volunteers had moved the tree, after all. We got moving again, towards the next stop. Rather than continuing all the way to the end of the line, our train was going to let everyone off at the penultimate stop, and head back to Boston. So, I had an extra 15 minutes waiting for another train at a different stop. Just as the next train was pulling into the station, I spied this along side the curb where I was waiting:
Sometimes, in life, you come to a fork in the road. It is a rare occasion when you come to a spoon.
¹ Perhaps I’m trying to drive the point home?
² Did I mention that the tree was big? It was, from all accounts, a big tree. Also large.³
³ I should also say that I was glad that the tree, which was quite large, did not fall on the train.