by Robert J. HastingsTucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent. We're traveling by passenger train and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat. of flat lands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village hills, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There will be bands playing and flags waving. And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true; so many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a complete jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering...waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
'When we reach the station, that will be it, we cry.' Translated it means, 'When I'm eighteen, that will be it...when I buy a new Mercedes Benz, that will be it...when I put the last kid through college, that will be it...when I have paid off the mortgage, when I win the promotion, when I retire, that will be it...I shall live happily ever after."
Unfortunately, once we get it, then it disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.
Sooner or later we must realize there is no one station; no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad; rather, it is the regret over yesterday, or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we travel along. The station will come soon enough.