In my yellow childhood room in Weston, Connecticut, the most comfort came from far outside the house. Partly it was the daytime view of a hill that I could run up after I ran down my second story room’s outside staircase, which was left over from some very different past time when this was a boarding house.
At night, light beams from headlights on the road in front of the house would enter my side window, play along the irregular, glossy yellow walls and over the ceiling and then leave by the back window beside the outside staircase door.
And at night, there would be softer flashes of light that came in regularly spaced intervals from – I learned – a powerful beacon that guided airplanes.
And, moreover, also from far away at night the long sad hopeful sounds of a locomotive’s horn.
Trains, like planes and cars, that told me the future would be different.