I always go for the window seat on a train; the one with one seat next to it, not the set of four with a table in the middle. I like to enclose myself because I feel like I’m closer to the fields plodding or blurring by. I might put on some music and I prefer this to reading, unusually. I look out at the the colours; the different animals; the solid land; the moving streams.
I used to take trains frequently; in to Birmingham (mostly) for work; down to the South West for holidays and seeing my Dad; and now and again into London. I have taken just one train in the last year. I have seen more from these very landscapes I looked upon in the train. Standing in a field one day, looking at the train speeding past, I was struck by this change. I’m now the landscape, not the passenger listening to music.
A few weeks ago it was really foggy. I left the narrowboat and the dogs plodded ahead of me, in and out of vision. Through a gate and into one of these landscapes I knew to be a grassy field with a few trees, also coming in and out of sight. I let the dogs wander as I stood and absorbed my surroundings. I’d never heard anything like it; the wet fog had made droplets on the thousands of blades of grass and they were popping, like feathered raindrops on a tin roof. My view had become my music.
The choice of passenger or landscape-wanderer has been taken from me due to chronic migraine, but perhaps doing both at once would be too polarised. I’m grateful for the perspective: For the choice to see something different, rather than languishing in a concrete jungle, with too many distractions to focus on my health. For the chance of finding new music every day.