I’ve been wanting to write this for some time. I have tried to put it into words orally, but they just couldn’t come out right. This time I feel I have put my feelings down in understandable words and phrases.
One evening Charlene and I were taking our usual walk around our neighborhood. It was a quiet time, with hardly any cars on the streets. The weather was just cool enough to feel comfortable, which made me realize we were in the fall of the year. I couldn’t see the tree leaves turning a golden color for there was something in this Arizona weather that kept them green until they fell off the trees, but there was enough color from flowers and shrubs to make up for it.
I heard a train whistle in the distance. Not the whistle I wanted to hear – from a steam locomotive – but close. It was enough. In an instant, I was transported to a small farming town with dusty streets and I was walking home slowly, barefooted feeling the dust push up between my toes when I stepped into an exceptionally deep dust pocket. Lights hadn’t yet come on even though the sun was nearly setting. Some of the red, brown, and golden leaves had fallen from the trees.
The air was still and all sounds seemed muffled but in the distance, I could hear other kids shouting or laughing, the evening passenger train whistled for the station stop. Someone was coming to town. I could smell the aroma of supper cooking in the nearby house. Then I heard in the distance a cowbell tolling. It was a reminder that evening chores were still to be done.
About that time a golf cart went by us leaving that awful stink of burned oil in the air. I looked around and realized I was 80 years old and walking on concrete. So it was only a dream. The part that was real was the tear trickling down my cheek.