“Nothing happens until something moves.” – Albert Einstein
There we were, “dead” on the tracks. The train from London to Edinburgh is about a five-hour journey. Four hours in, our train stopped and didn’t move. We sat there for a while until we heard an announcement that there was a train in front of us that had broken down with no word on when that train might be cleared.
We sat there.
Later, another announcement said a rescue train was dispatched to hook up to the dead train and tow it to Edinburgh.
We sat there.
Then, another announcement: “This isn’t the news you want to hear, but the rescue train connection doesn’t match the connection on the dead train. At this point, we don’t know how long we’ll be here.”
We sat there.
But, I’m not much of a sitter, so I got up to move around. No mission, no goal, no attachment to an outcome. Aparigraha, you know.
Luckily, our train was stopped at a small train station. We were able to get off to stretch our legs and get fresh air. However, very few people did so. I tried to get online, but the service was virtually nonexistent. I found no Ubers, no buses, not even a rental car. So, those options were off the table.
I kept moving about the train, while almost everyone sat in their seats. They just sat there.
Then, I saw a guy grabbing his luggage to get off the train and one woman laughed at him and smugly said, “Ha! What are you going to do, walk to Edinburgh?”
He didn’t acknowledge her or her comment and just left. Hmm. I followed him outside and asked, “Hey, what do you know? Where are you heading?” And he said, “There’s a small bus downstairs heading to Edinburgh.”
So, I stayed with him all the way outside of the train station and there it was. A small 25-seater just waiting for people to board. I asked the driver how much (I was willing to pay whatever) and he said, as long as you have a train ticket, it’s free.
I ran back up into the station and told my wife and daughter, who already had their backpacks on, to run and follow me; “There’s a bus!”
There was a bus and there was never an announcement that there was one. In fact, when we left, there were still a few empty seats. That train had hundreds of people on it with no idea.
We checked into our hotel and were eating dinner at a local restaurant when we checked the schedule and that train was still sitting there. I heard that it didn’t move until much later that evening.
William Gibson once said, “We see in order to move. We move in order to see.” If I didn’t move, I would never have seen the series of moments that led to the bus.
And one more quote, because I think it’s relevant: Martha Graham said, “Nothing is more revealing than movement.”
Movement lights the path ahead. It is energy that moves energy that opens up opportunities and possibilities and other pathways. For the laughing lady and so many others that sat there, nothing happened, because they didn’t move.
Maybe it’s a defect of our intelligence or the conditioning of our collective “intelligence”. Where most every other animal on earth would simply move, we stay, even when it’s not mandated.
No one ever said there were other options to Edinburgh; I get that. But, no one ever said it was mandatory to stay on the train either.
Get in line, follow the group, do what you’re told and eventually do what you’re not told, because the conditioning tells us to be good sheep and stay with the herd. Do not color outside the lines, don’t upset the apple cart, curiosity killed the cat and so on.
So, why didn’t they just tell us there was a bus? My theory is that they knew if they did, that train station would become Super Walmart on Black Friday. Or is it Thursday now? I don’t know.
Anyways, be curious. Be aware and observant. Notice things, especially the small ones. Be inquisitive.
And … move.