Vienna Diary 
October 18

Today we took a train from Vienna to Salzburg.  It was a three hour train ride.  During the ride, we went through several longish tunnels.  I knew that it was going to go from hilly, to foot-hilly to mountainous during the course of the trip.  So I kept almost expecting to emerge from these tunnels to a radically different terrain.   But that never happened.  The shift was more gradual than that. 

But then, when we were in Salzburg, we took the tram from the city, up the side of the hill to the Fortress of Salzburg and, when I wasn’t expecting it, a dramatic change happened. 


All day it had been cloudy and raining and it had been cloudy when we got on the tram, but in the few minutes that we were waiting there, a big patch of sky had cleared and when we emerged at the top, it was dramatically sunny on the buildings, the hills and the mountains.

And I’ve been thinking about tunnels.  I’ve been thinking about how sometimes we get into a tunnel in our lives and we don’t know what to expect on the other end.  Will everything be dramatically different or will there be subtle changes?  Will it be lighter on the other end or will it be so dark that we can barely tell we are no longer in the tunnel?  Will traveling the tunnel bring answers or just more questions?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know some things about tunnels:

*tunnels don’t last forever

*the darkness in the tunnel helps us to better appreciate the light when we have it

*not being able to see gives us opportunity to hone our other senses

*the darkness and solitude of the tunnel can help us see ourselves

*even though the tunnel may take you someplace radically different than you anticipated, that place will have a beauty of its own if you have eyes to see

*God is before the tunnel; God is in the tunnel; God is on the other side

Happy traveling.