“Early youth is a baffling time. The present moment is nice but it does not last. Living in it is like waiting in a junction town for the morning limited; the junction may be interesting but some day you will have to leave it and you do not know where the limited will take you. Sooner or later you must move down an unknown road that leads beyond the range of imagination, and the only certainty is that the trip has to be made. In this respect early youth is exactly like old age; it is a time of waiting before a trip to an unknown destination. The chief difference is that youth waits for the morning limited and age waits for the night train”.
By Bruce Catton, Waiting For The Morning Train.
Bruce is the acclaimed author of many civil war historical novels, and this quote comes from an autobiography of early childhood, entitled “Waiting for the Morning Train”. It is a book about growing up in a small and forgotten town in the upper Midwest of America during the early Twentieth Century. Bruce’s small town was called Benzonia, Michigan, but having not been there I had to use my best choice photograph which should be of the same era.
When I read Bruce’s first paragraph of chapter Three, I was enthralled with the depth of meaning and experience of his description of youth and aging…the perspective of each, but also the difference. How anyone can capture this much life in a few simple verses astounds me. Perhaps I am odd, but this is what I consider profound writing !