Inspired by our son, a fellow blogger of Useless Clutter, I am resuming my commitment to writing posts on a relatively regular basis. Whether my resolve continues is yet to transpire. Even though I have been absent from the blogging world, I have been composing a few posts in the inner parts of my consciousness. This is one of those posts.
Our former house was located quite near a very big cemetery. The graveyard was built on the south side of a railroad track, which was removed several years ago. On one excursion to the cemetery more than twenty years ago, we discovered a fence and signs to the effect, "No trespassing, Property of the Magic Railroad. Of course, these were not the fictional tracks of Thomas the Tank Engine fame. These were Chesapeake and Ohio formerly Chicago, Cincinnati, and Louisville tracks that ran through Merrillville.
Yesterday, I looked for remnants of the old railroad tracks or a Magic Railroad sign on the edge of the cemetery property. The area and sign were overgrown with vegetation, but there was a footpath and a faded No Trespassing sign. However, no Magic Railroad sign was to be found. In reality, I was not looking for the old Chesapeake and Ohio tracks; I knew exactly the location of these tracks.
Actually, I have been searching for another part of the same railroad track pathway, the part that used to cross Randolph Street on the eastern edge of the town of Merrillville. I used to cross this part of the C&O track twice daily every day some forty years ago when I taught sixth grade at Winfield Township Elementary School. One of my co-workers ran into a train on the tracks on Randolph. Luckily, he was fine and made it to work although late.
About three years ago, we moved into a new home closer to the Randolph side of the old railroad. As we frequently traveled to the town of Winfield by way of Randolph, I wondered where the old tracks had been. Like the track location by the cemetery, finding evidence of the old Chesapeake and Ohio is not apparent from the road. However, if you look at an aerial view, finding the railroad's former path is indeed possible. The tracks were where the vegetation and trees create a diagonal line on the map crossing Randolph Street just above the orange symbol with the star. Until today I did not realize these tracks were the very same tracks near our older home by the cemetery. Additionally, these very same tracks ran by our first apartment, which shook our kitchen table as train passed through our town.
Thus, I guess that I have located the Magic Railroad. However, even though my search for this railroad from my memory was based originally on nostalgic curiosity, I offer this metaphorical comparison. In life, we humans tend to search for paths that may seem magical and elusive whether we are searching for spiritual truths, philosophical answers to the meaning of life, or the solution to our country's economic crisis. Perhaps, like the Magic Railroad the path is nearby but locating these truths or answers seem to be hidden from our view.