Late morning sunlight nourishes the trees across the tracks, near a lot bordered by a weathered, wooden, bird bespattered fence. The sky carries but a single wisp of vapor in an otherwise pale blue expanse of infinity. The hum of a plane can be heard, its source a small, white, delicate looking plane; tiny, single-manned, circling in the clear atmosphere.
A train with cars full of coal arrives and passes by, two engines in front, a hundred and twenty four identical cars, fully loaded, followed by two more engines at the end. It must be a mile long, it seems. A baby’s babbles sprinkle the air with its light, happy noises as its parents push a stroller, then carry it across the tracks after the train is gone.
The drone of the plane overhead is overlapped by another, deeper drone. The distant sound of someone hammering echoes across a deep split in the landscape, through which the train tracks run. Far off sounds of traffic are distant and noninvasive. Closer to is the sound of birds in those sun-fed trees, the hum of a few bees, the swishing rustle of the tall grasses as their long fronds rub against one another. A small broken branch dangles and flutters in the breeze from a dead and leafless bush or stunted tree. The sound of another plane completely overshadows the other planes, as it flies directly overhead, and looking down into the ravine, a tumbleweed – the first of the season – rolls down the now very empty tracks.