The poem that changed my life...

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

'The Station' by Robert J Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train, and from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from factories, of row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and valleys, city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer.

But uppermost in our minds is our final destination. For at a certain hour on a certain day, our train will finally pull into the station. Bands will be playing, and flags waving. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So many wishes will be fulfilled and the pieces of our lives will fit together neatly, like a jigsaw puzzle. So restlessly we pace the aisles and count the miles... waiting, waiting, waiting, for the station.

“When we reach the station that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When I’m eighteen... buy that new car... win that promotion... put the last kid through university... pay off the mortgage... When I retire, that'll be it!” From that day on, we shall live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realise there is no station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is only an illusion that constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to history, tomorrow to the unknown. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow a faint sunrise.

Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw away the key. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and Fear are twin thieves who rob us of Today.

So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Stop waiting. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, sing and dance, kiss more babies, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less.

Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

by Robert J. Hastings

(Faye's UK adaptation)