Life On a Train Bridge

I’ve been thinking about how lucky I’ve been in this life.

Oh, sure … I’ve had a few problems (mostly psychological, I’ve been told), and I never did learn how to make any money. Overall, though, I’m amazed at how fortunate I’ve been.

I walk. A lot. It’s one of the things that I can do, so … I do it.

Saskatoon has got to be one of the best places on the planet to walk. (OK, the beaches at Kihei are pretty great, too!) The river is beautiful, and the paths can be as easy – or as challenging – as you like.

I have an easy 5 minute walk to the river, which is pretty great.

One of my favourite walks includes the train bridge near the weir. As a kid, I was afraid of heights, so I always pushed myself to go higher. While heights don’t bother me now, it’s still a bit of a thrill to look down at the water flowing by.

You can look at the weir (now that the water level is normalizing, you can actually see that there IS a weir) and watch the pelicans fishing. Pretty great.

The bridge itself is like a public message board. It’s covered with all sorts of sayings, feelings, and emotions. Some of them … ahem … I can’t repeat here, but there are two that I always notice.

One says “No Fear”. I’m not sure I agree with that. I’ve been afraid a lot in my life. After all, I’ve been married for 26 years. I’d like to think, though, that there are things / circumstances / causes / beliefs that are worth facing your fear for.

Going on in spite of fear is my definition of courage. Not the absence of fear.

The other one – my favourite – says “The Power of Positivity“. It is written in a very nice green colour and is bedazzled with a cool smiley face.

It’s sort of become my mantra. I believe that you don’t get to always choose your circumstances, but you do get to choose how you respond to them.

Power of positivity reminds me how I’d like to respond to life.

I did mention that this is a TRAIN bridge, did I not? I’ve loved trains since I was a kid. In fact, I was pretty certain, from about ages 6-10, that I was going to be an engineer. The wind in my face, seeing the country. What a life!

I even had a hat. And yes, I was very cute in it. Just ask my Mom.

It doesn’t happen often, but it is a rush to have a freight train rumble by, with you just a few feet away. When it happens, there is always a goofy, middle aged guy who never grew up – you may know him – who is making the universal “blow the horn” arm pump with a huge grin on his face.

The horn from that close is awesome! Or so I’ve heard … from that same goofy guy.

As I go down from the bridge, there is one more nice surprise. OK, it’s not a surprise anymore, but …

I give thanks to Olivia and Greg Yuel and family. I don’t know who they are, or how they are connected, but there is a water fountain with their names on it at the base of the bridge.

It’s amazing how good cold water tastes after about 5 K in the warm sun.

I sit down and watch the water go by at the weir for about 10 or 15 minutes, clearing my mind and breathing deeply. Then I’m off for the second half.

My friends, I don’t know what’s going on in your lives. I hope that things are going well, and that you are happy, healthy, and prosperous. If not, and you live in or near Saskatoon (possibly there are similar places elsewhere … although probably not as great as Saskatoon. And if you live in Regina, my condolences.), take a walk across the train bridge and remind yourself that life is pretty good.

Especially if there’s a train going by.

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