Small Comforts


I’ve lived by train tracks all my life.
To me the long stretches of metal,
speak of both home and freedom.

When I was a young child,
the familiar tsing tsing of the wheels on the rails,
would lull me to sleep,
after the incessant taunting of my classmates.

I moved to another city,
but still the tracks stood sentry outside my window.
In the chill of the early morning I would follow them to school.
I left the tracks reluctantly,
to face the highschool halls filled with uncertainty.

In university and the first years of marriage there were no tracks.
On the days that were roughest,
I would jump in my green Tercel and visit the tracks.
They comforted me.

I am going through a busy time right now,
a product of taking on too many things all at once.
(I’m sure no one else EVER does that…lol)

Sometimes I can’t sleep…

All I can do is send up a prayer for peace
(and future wisdom to be able to say no…lol).

Then I hear the wailing of the horn in the distance,
and the house shakes gently.
My eyes slide shut as the clack clack of the night train sounds outside my window.

As if I’m being rocked to sleep by something much bigger than myself.
And I know that to be true…
thank God for the small comforts he gives us!

For me, train tracks have a comforting presence in my life. It reminds me of God’s constant presence…I know, a little weird. I never said I was normal. 😉 What little (or big) thing in your life reminds you of God’s faithfulness? Share with me in the comment box. I always love to hear from you. 🙂

Karen deBlieck

Karen deBlieck

13 thoughts on “Small Comforts

  1. I like trains, except when they are waking me up early on a Saturday morning! 😉 My town here has the “1880 Train” – it’s not year-round but it’s a fun little part of our lives and a reminder of summer for me. I grew up with a similar comfort, only in the skies instead. And I found college and life after marriage difficultly quiet with never a jet roaring overhead. Since we moved to this town a few years ago, I occasionally hear the distant airplane but it’s not quite the same.

    But the jets don’t remind me of God’s presence, something else does. Back when we were dating my husband thought I was quite the odd one as I love old cemeteries (today he enjoys going with me, though he’s done a lot sooner than I am ;). I can spend hours walking up and down the rows, reading the epitaphs, comparing the dates, deciphering the symbols & iconography on the headstones. Imagining the heartbreak a mother felt at the row of 4 tiny stones that all say “baby Gellar”; markers for children, the eldery, those alone, and those surrounded by family. God was there in those lives as much as He is part of ours today and only He knows how many of those passed on I might one day meet. It’s awe-inspiring to me!


  2. Karen and Sparksofember, I loved reading your very poetic thoughts! Train tracks are a symbol to me of how life continues on regardless of what happens. What used to be earth shattering things for me in the past are just faded memories now and somehow I lived through it all and kept on going, a reminder to put things in perspective when I think that something is just to hard to take. And through it all God is there as the only unchanging rock!


  3. sparksofember: The plane thing I can get and I could see the markers in the graveyard. Although, I’m deathly afraid (ha,ha) of dead things…lol. It might creep me out if I stayed to long! I often think the epitaphs on gravestones could make for an interesting short story. I mean, you live a private life, but once you are dead those who remember you put their private feelings in public for all to see. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


  4. I lived near train tracks in College and for a short while after. I, too, find the sound of trains soothing. Airplanes, not at all. (Sorry Sparks). 🙂 Not so much the cemetery thing either. To me it’s a sad place housing people’s loss. Headstones have a tendency to make me cry.


    • And stone angels…well, they just creep me out. I know some people really hate the sound of trains. I’m glad there are others who share the same sentiment as me. Makes me a little less weird. LOL. 🙂


      • Rain. In the house where I grew up we had a tin roof on the front porch and I loved to listen to the sound of it rain. Of course, it helped that I grew up in a desert where rain was rare. In Houston, we see lots and lots of rain at times. I still miss the tin roof.


  5. Lisa, my husband also loves listening to the rain. Sadly, we couldn’t afford a covered porch when we built the house but one day perhaps. 🙂 Sit out and watch the storm roll in and then listen to the gentle pitter pat of the rain. I’ve never heard rain on a tin roof but I imagine it would sing…


  6. I like distant trains, not like the ones near a restaurant we frequent where the plates and silverware bounce (fun for a meal, but not for sleeping 🙂 )

    Rain is comforting. When we lived in Seattle, several people transferred into my company but couldn’t stay because of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but I loved it. There’s nothing better than reading or writing while a gentle rain tattoos the roof.


    • Yeah, I guess it’s good to have some distance from the trains. lol As for the rain-I don’t mind the sound of it. Don’t like getting wet and cold though. Still love my sunshine. 🙂


  7. I like trains but not planes. I like graveyards but tend to cry at my father’s. I like the sound of rain now, but when I was a kid I didn’t like it because our roof leaked and it meant we’d have to get bowls to catch the leaks so it was the loud drip of leaking water that would keep us awake. My main comforts though, are coffee and saunas, which show I’m a typical Finn. We are the largest consumers of coffee per capita, in the world. Also saunas tend to make you forget your worries and they will help you get a good night’s sleep.


    • Pia, I don’t get to indulge in saunas (or coffee for that matter) very much because of my hypertension. Although, the few times I have enjoyed I have slept very well afterwards. 🙂


  8. When my oldest was a toddler, we lived about twenty feet from the train tracks. With about fifteen trains per day. After the first two days, we never woke up in the middle of the night. The rumble became the comforts of home. During the day, my son would run out to the deck and wave at the engineer, who always waved back. Good memories.


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