Yesterday as I was riding home on the train, I looked out the window and was transported to my eighth grade fieldtrip to Yellowstone. We were winding our way through a small canyon, the road like an ice draped river cutting through forested wilderness. Snow came down like confetti, twisting and flailing against the windows.
As I looked through the glass, what I thought were shadows or snow-caked shrubs materialized into herds of bison and elk standing shoulder to shoulder. Their hair was matted in ice, and it hung like a headdress on top of their bowed heads. They were immobile, as if they’d sat there for centuries undisturbed.
Yesterday, the sky was black. Rain came down in swirls against the train window. As I looked through the glass, I saw clumps of small homes sitting gutter to gutter. Their walls bowed with the weight of life, economics, and busyness. They were immobile, stuck in infinite urbanization whose only glimpse of wilderness was the mountain peaks cresting the city skyline.
I realize that I don’t know who I feel the most sadness for.