Train Whistle, 14×18 Soft Pastel
I snapped a quick photo out the window of the car as my family and I were traveling through rural Alabama toward New Orleans. It wasn’t really a great shot; pretty boring as a photo. But through the vibrant softness of pastels, I could enhance the moment to show beauty in an average sight…train cars moving steadily beside the interstate, through the thick green trees of my home state, under a sky that evokes wonder and a bit of mystery. Swirling clouds, light and dark; a mixture of moods.
My home is situated near enough to hear train whistles in quiet moments. The sound permeates those moments when I am drifting off to sleep or reading quietly in my room. I hear it as I walk to my car on early winter mornings, its sound crisp and steady. The almost mournful tone speaks to me in almost-understood ways; it lingers and causes me to pause, to catch my breath and soak in the moment in which I find myself. I have heard it in some of my darkest moments…it draws out my sadness as a breath draws air, traveling languidly through the night. I hear it on hopeful mornings and I pause to see the beauty in my life, and the places I am going. It reminds me of journeys taken and journeys that lie ahead. It is a treasured sound I can recall from childhood; a sound that touches my soul.