The sound of a train’s whistle always conjures up a dim, whispery memory of me and my mother sharing a bed together at our family’s cottage. Although I had my own room beside hers – connected, in fact, by an adjoining door – the pitch northern black would often find me snuggled beside her, where we’d talk in hushed tones so as to not wake my aunt and uncle across the hall.
One night as we lay side by side we listened to the call of a train as it steamed down the nearby tracks; first faint, then stronger as the sound was lifted across the river water, through the window screen and into our bedroom.
“I love the sound of a train,” she murmured, her voice thick with sleep. “It reminds me of the nights I spent here when I was a child.”
My childhood home sat behind train tracks and I would listen to the call of the train whistles at night, just as my mum did when she was young.
The house we live in now is quite close to a busy and long stretch of tracks, much to Oliver’s – and yes, my – delight. He likes to drop everything and scream A TRAIN COMING! when he hears the now-familiar sound of one passing by and more often than not, when I hear one I think of how the sound reminded my mum of nights at the cottage when she was a kid.
One night this week over the thunder and the pounding rain I made out the faint sound of a train in the distance. I fell asleep thinking of things that remind me of being a kid, like train whistles, orange popsicles that meltdown my arm, grass stains and swinging so high I’d lose my stomach. The Care Bears, Rainbow Brite and Tom and Jerry; losing track of time, grass stains, jumping rope and the smell of dandelions, tying my shoes and pretending the laces were bunny ears, mud pies and penny candy, catching tree frogs at the cottage, hopscotch, The Mini Pops and stella-ella-ola, clap clap clap!
Ah, to be a kid again…
What reminds you of being a kid?
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