Spain’s Devastating Train Crash
Images of the mangled, derailed Spanish train flash onto the screen with the banner World Breaking News. “At least 50 dead”, the report announces.
The pictures are graphic, metal twisted and contorted. Bodies covered in sheets laying on the tracks.
Just two hours earlier, a friend had wished me safe travels for our train journey to Spain that we are planning to embark on tomorrow. I had thought to myself when they said this, what a silly outdated phrase believing it was meant for a time when people traveled between continents on ships spending months at sea. Back when people were in real danger during their travels.
I close my eyes for a moment in disbelieve that I had actually thought this to myself.
“Safe travels.” The phrase keeps repeating in my mind.
Guilty is how I feel for thinking of this phrase as a hollow statement said out of politeness. And maybe it was, but how arrogant of me in my nonchalance towards my friends comment to bid me a safe journey.
“More than 60 dead, 100 injured.” I am watching the reports as the death numbers keep rising, video footage of rescuers still trying to free people from the train’s wreckage.
Trying to free people like me, or you, or people like the woman I sat next to only 3 days ago on a similar train who kindly stroked my dog, smiling at me and cooing at Rocky like my Grandmother use to when she saw babies.
Sometimes, I have seen tragedy and felt little; like being cloaked in a numb blanket but this feels so close to home. I keep seeing the different faces of the people I have meet in our many train journeys this summer. Could any of them been on this train? Unlikely.
However, the very idea of it has me has me shaken. It is a powerful reminder of how fragile we all are. We make our plans, we expect all to go well and yet it all can be destroyed in an instant. Just one single instant.
Have you had an something rattle you like this? Has a specific tragedy struck closer to home for you than others?