Tale of two trains

I think this is the Sheffield to Leeds Stop Everywhere train.It’s warm and plenty of seats and a high proportion of men. Men in woolly hats.A window is open and the air is fresh. No one is talking and mindfulness hangs unspoken.Rain trickles diagonally across the window and the darkness wraps a cloak around us.Wakefield, Outwood,Leeds.
Sometimes I use the train from London.Just Wakefield Leeds. It’s warm, bright,spacious,plenty of littered seats.A collection of containers with a film of food and Starbucks and Yorkshire Tea cups with plastic lids. Yesterday,laughing loudly women around an empty Prosecco bottle dominated the carriage. Not pretty women. I think my woolly hatted fellow travellers would agree. Freshness exchanged for wear and tear.On yesterday’s train there were no windows to open but ageing or reduced air conditioning. 180 miles of fug grabbed its chance to escape into the Wakefield night but rushing in freshness was diluted by malodorous body used air,trapped by the door slam.
‘Leeds the next stop.Please take all your belongings with you.’
Leftover stuff someone else’s problem.

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Commuting in Advent

It’s the darkness that is such a changer of the atmosphere.Leaving home in the dark ,coming home in the dark .The central nervous system’s pressure to hibernate. So the promise of lights and fires and warmth is deeply attractive . 

Light is a beacon for me now , sitting in a modern door less station shelter, designed to keep the air fresh,but with no lights .Cold.The tall light shining onto the platform edge gives warning of the darkness of the tracks three feet below. I’ve chosen not to drop into the pub,”The Station” perversely so I don’t get too warm ,nor too comfortable. But the damp cold draught is beginning to chill me. Train cancelled.Forty minutes wait. 

The silence is broken by a man’s shouts .’You f…..ing idiot,you hate my family ‘.He comes closer with a women who enters the shelter first.She nods when I ask if she is alright, and the shouter rants and swears on .I ask him to please stop shouting and he sits and tells the women how much he loves her and how he will marry her and give her his child .I feel my indignation rise at the imposition of his plan on a women he has sworn and shouted at for more than 5 minutes in my ear shot. 

In the darkness ,the light shines and the darkness has not overcome it .

The lady friend of the ranter and I catch the train .She moves away and finds a space to herself . I think of the Syrian crisis and the wars around the world .Conflict and man’s inhumanity to man in so many forms. 

Advent .We prepare for Christmas .Lord, have mercy .