Don't let it end like this
Location: Mount Pleasant, Iowa
It was just a cold winter day in the early 2000s. The ceiling above was unlimited and the blues were showing vivid on yesteryear's slide film. Running east like a wind itself, the California Zephyr is seen streaking across the flat eastern Iowa landscape with its sights set on the Mississippi River crossing. Once safely through the winding and narrow passages of Burlington, the small towns of Illinois will flit by the large windows, just for an instant, as the cars gently rock along the double-tracked transcon. Then, a final run into Chicago on the Race Track. All along the way, the stainless steel will glisten in the low winter sun. Maybe - just maybe - I see a little of that old panache of America's famous trains showing through.
So much has changed so quickly in the pandemic era. The Zephyr and its long distance stablemates will retreat like many of us to a different way I wonder, will we ever have these daily runs again? Will dining cars ever offer the aroma of cooking breakfast during a station stop early in the morning?
These missing trains are just another painful reflection of the times themselves - too much hurt across the society in too many ways. The nation quakes and convulses and reveals its hurt and brokenness. My prayer: Lord, don't let it end like this. Please, I know we can do better and I'm sorry.