The above line is from the beautiful story, Under The Tuscan Sun, a novel written by Frances Hayes, which was later turned into the movie featuring Diane Lane. Not only does the movie capture the wonders of Italy, but it captures the journey one woman takes in her pursuit of meaning, happiness, and zest for life. I believe that her journey is symbolic of all of our journeys. Each different, each unique. This quote made me think about my own journey and the trajectory I dream it goes in. I began to think about how many of us wait for things to come to us rather than going out and getting them for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong- some things we must be patient for and letting them work their way to us is wiser than going on the chase for them first. But many things; many of the big things that we want for our lives, we have to go and get them. Everyone wants a life where all of their dreams play out into fruition- it is distinctly human to desire that. Why then, do only some people attain this kind of life? The people who are brave and willing to take a risk. The people who know that their life is so precious and time sensitive and possible. The people who lay down the train tracks of their life before they even hear the train. Those people are the ones.
Looking at the train and its tracks as symbols for our life’s journey- I like to think of it like this: the tracks are the plans, progress, dreams, perseverance, and most importantly belief (because nothing extraordinary can happen if you do not at least believe in it first), and the train is the dream being lived out. Full steam ahead. Taking itself and others on a magnificent and scenic journey.
The trick is to start building the train tracks now. Even if it is one inch at a time. And this process can be incredibly exciting and fulfilling. Dreaming about what you want your life to look like- where you want to live, what you want to be, what you want to change- this is the first crucial step in building your track. And the thing about the track is, it is not one straight line. There are curves and sharp turns and maybe some stops along the way. But these changes in direction are what ultimately lead us to where we belong. The small parts of our story add to the whole of who we are. They lead us to places, experiences, and most profoundly, people who become a part of us and our journey.
It does not take much to begin. All it takes is a present mind and an open heart to allow us to get in touch with ourselves, and figure out what it is that we want for ourselves in our lives. And then, go out and get them.
And as Marcello from the movie says, “When you smash into something good, hold onto it”. Hold onto all that is good. Be wise enough to let go of what is not. And lay the tracks for your own life. The train will come when it’s ready.