16. Thought

Pennies on the Track


As a young boy I would sometimes visit my father at his workplace. There was a railroad track that ran right by his building, and several times a day a slow train would roll by carrying loads of coal or rock. Sometimes I’d just sit and watch as the train passed, counting the number of cars and wondering what it’d be like to jump in a boxcar and “ride the rail.”


A distant sounding horn would give ample warning of the train’s coming, and every now and then I’d run out to the track and lay down a few coins – mostly pennies – on the rails. I guess it must have been “the boy” in me that liked to see things destroyed. It was always cool to run back out after the train had passed and assess the damage.


A shiny new penny would leave the most awesome record of the train wheel’s fingerprint. Flattened to almost paper thin dimensions, the copper “pancake” would shine up to look like a golden mirror. The slight curve of the rail was most always present on the remainder of the coin, and if you looked closely you could still see the faint image of Abraham Lincoln or the Lincoln Memorial. I’d usually buff the edges of the copper piece, shine up the face, and maybe even drill a hole on it so that I could put a string through it and wear it around my neck for a while.


Pennies from Heaven


Maybe there are things in your life you’d like to change. You may have some thoughts or ideas that need only a little work to make them seem new again. Don’t be afraid to change the dimensions of your thoughts; the most interesting ideas are often times those that are a bit out of kilter. It’s easy to just let the pennies tarnish in your pocket. Do something with them and make life more interesting.


Day 16 Guide


Maybe you think the roads that you’ve traveled have left you parked on a track leading nowhere. Reassess your position; look at your relationships; gather your old ideas and consider ways to make them new again. Remember that a smashed penny is sometimes worth more than one cent.


© 2006, Levi Hill

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