Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The living personification of power itself.

Despite the dark side of the Transcontinental Railroad’s consequences, my years with the railroad were a glorious adventure.  Without question, as those golden spikes were driven into that last tie at Promontory Point, America’s manifest destiny was achieved.  East was symbolically and literally joined to west, and the vast expanse of North America’s great Republic truly became one nation indivisible. Equally impressive as the thoroughfare itself, were its remarkable locomotives.  Everything about a steam locomotive is awe-inspiring.  The low moan of the engine, the earthy smell of burning fuel, hot steel, and well-oiled brass, and the rise and fall of the undulating rails, are an endless source of wonder for me.  A swiftly passing locomotive brings to mind a living, breathing creature.  To me, a steam locomotive belching smoke and billowing clouds of steam is the living personification of power itself. There’s no other sound in the whole wide world like the sound of a distant train, with its rhythmic rumble and the whistle’s mournful wail.  It’s a little like the call of migrating geese as their primordial cries grow faint, and they follow their leader along an ancient path. OBIE’S QUEST

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