I once took a train trip to Chicago and along the way the train made many stops. At each I observed passengers exit and walk past my window. Some walked slowly: heads down. Others scurried along the station platforms as if life itself was just around the corner. Looking back on that time I see clearly now that my Chicago train trip was a metaphor for my time at Colorado State University (CSU).
For many years I stood on the platform at the CSU Train Station and watched as trains arrived, carrying new colleagues with their prior experiences to now mix with mine. I observed as others boarded different trains when their sojourn at CSU came to a close. I also said good-bye to those who left silently.
When each CSU Train departed the Station I looked about the platform for those who remained—their presence an encouragement to me. And between trains I observed, listened and learned lessons that are forever part of who I am.
Eventually my unexplored borders moved beyond the CSU Train Station as the call went out for “ALL ABOARD.” Soon afterward I pulled away from that well-traveled platform. I waved to each of you and continued to look back at the memories, at the friendships, at the effort and the loss.
After a while I faced forward and looked intently out the window so I would not miss my intended platform as it came into view.