Beyond Land’s End

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Sometimes, on the evening train going home from his working life, he’d sit watching the world going by outside the train while wondering what would happen if he didn’t get off at his usual stop.

Where would he go? What would become of him? Would the rest of his life, his wife, his children, his boss, his parents and siblings – would they all miss him, wonder where he had gone?

Once he passed the stage of wondering if the world around him would notice his absence, he wondered where he would go if he ever decided not to get off at his normal stop. He wondered if he would just get off at the next stop after his usual one, or would he go on as far as the end of the line… and if so, then what?

He remembered a dream he once had as a child, one of those dreams that seems to stick with us throughout our lives. He worked out he must have been young, perhaps pre-school age when he had this particular dream.

Obviously, at some point during his day, some grown-up or other must have mentioned Land’s End in some adult conversation he’d overheard, and he could – even now – forty years later, remember the visions that conjured up in his sleeping young mind.

He could remember a tropical beach at sunset, palm trees silhouetted against a deep red setting-sun sky: because to his child’s logic mind, Land’s End, the end of the land, would be far, far away and you’d only ever get there at the end of a day, no matter how long it took to travel there.

In the dream, there was a Land Rover too, that he was sitting in, watching the sun set over a sea that seemed to go on forever. After all, if the land ended at Land’s End, then the rest must be sea, sea for miles and miles and miles. He was not sure if, when he had the dream, he knew the world was round. He did not know. All he could remember was the dream and the amazing fact that it had stuck with him all this time. He smiled at his reflection in the train window as the familiar landscape passed him by and daydreamed about, one day, going to that place where all land ended and the infinite sea began.

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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