Morning silent meditation – part of the Wellness 360 program at work. As I followed the guided prompts to breathe in confidence and exhale fear, I heard a train whistle. I was immediately transported back to my childhood bedroom in Bucyrus, Ohio.
My bedroom. My safe place. My parents and sisters just down the short hallway. The only place I could sleep soundly, even as an adult.
The trains ran through town in the middle of the night. In the stillness I always heard the announcement of their arrival, regardless of how deeply I was sleeping. They were a constant, a nightly occurrence, a touchstone of sorts.
The train whistle was as regular and reliable as my parents, my family, my friends, my small hometown.
But my room, my glorious room. My parents covered the floor with carpet squares. I covered the walls with poetry and huge Japanese letters signifying love and peace. There were beads in the window and lots of candles. The mattress was on the floor and the lights always dim. I listened to music, wrote, and read many books on philosophy and religion in the safe, sacred space that I created for my introverted self.
During the meditation I visited my teenage room, sat awhile the safety. It was nice to revisit a memory softened, simpler time of life.
The next time I hear a train whistle, I’ll breathe in confidence, exhale fear, and go back again…
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Childhood memories are precious! I can remember the distant train whistle in the night with bedroom windows open on a summer night. This sound still brings me peace.
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Isn’t it amazing how sounds can trigger peace, yet also pain?