I've already blogged about my erev Shavuot. My Shavuot day had a different flavor; I spent it on a train moving through upstate New York, en route to Montreal for a weekend with several of my dearest blogging friends.
The train ride was beautiful. At this time of year the countryside is gloriously green, and often the tracks took us alongside lakes and fields. And trailer parks, and little houses, and rocks, and streams. For a long while, great swathes of honeysuckle in bloom. Fields, some shorn and some knee-high with grain and some just sprouting.
The train shook from side to side as it moved along the tracks. Behind me a man talked earnestly to a woman about tai chi and the importance of proper breathing. Sometime while I was immersed in Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo, they got off the train and went their separate ways. And throughout, the distant sound of the train's whistle, letting the people in the towns we passed know that we were here, and then that we were gone...
Our train sat a while at the border, as a cadre of courteous customs officials worked their way through the cars. Just before we started to move again, I saw several train employees (the man who had taken my ticket, and the woman who worked behind the counter of the snack car) step out of the little prefab customs building eating bright-orange sherbert in wafer cones, waving goodbye to the people still inside.
(To be continued...)