On my first trip to London I was intrigued with the signage and recoded warnings, on the underground rail, commonly referred to as the ‘Tube’, to ‘mind the gap.’
There really is a significant gap between the train and the loading platform, a foot or more, and to slip into the gap…could be very troublesome and perhaps deadly.
Having not grown up with subways or ‘tubes’ I find them a little disconcerting.
When we traveled, throughout the United Kingdom and France I regularly felt ill at ease in the underground waiting areas.
The idea of standing directly next to the wide chasm that is the tracks for the locomotive and my fear that some, poor soul, might topple over…was real.
Also, I found the popular means of conveyance a little spooky…late at night…when there were few people waiting for their ride…and they were staring at my party of holiday revelers.
I remember, when we were riding with our friends, Margo and Jeff, in Paris, and a gentleman, who had a violin on his back, became angry when he thought one of us had pushed him.
I wondered if I was going to have to fight to defend my friends honor?
Life is somewhat like the ‘Tube’!
First, there is a labyrinth of confusing directions, posted, as to what train will take you to the stop that you desire…and you need an interpreter to decipher them for you.
Second, there is a wide and dangerous chasm that you must stand next to and remain aware of what danger that the next step could bring to you and your life and limb.
Third, once your train has arrived…you must ‘mind the gap’ or you still could be injured…badly.
Fourth, you must be in constant vigilance as to who your fellow riders are…while at the same time…being open and accepting to all people.
Fifth, you must do your best to not disturb anyone else’s violin!
‘Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
Oh, what a panic is in your breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With your hurrying scamper
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.
I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!
I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.
Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of course grass green!
And bleak December’s winds coming,
Both bitter and piercing!
You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! The cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.
That small bit of heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a wary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter’s sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye.
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!’
To a Mouse by Robert Burns
Mary Jane and I met a friend at the grocery store, yesterday, and we commiserated on the vagaries of life.
Our friend commented that Life was interesting.
I said that you never know what is coming next…as Forest Gump said…’Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what your are going to get.’
And, so, boredom is not the problem…rather the challenge is to be prepared to address the curve balls that life throws at you…and believe that it is part of Gods master plan.
There is a saying that is often quoted regarding the uncertainty of life, ‘man makes plans…and God laughs’.
I have often found the idea the God is laughing at my struggle in the darkness of life and its mission and my purpose in it…to be a little insulting.
I prefer to think that each of us have a guardian angel and that our angel is with us, daily, and is keeping us…from the gap.