A man stared out his living room window one afternoon. He had a clear view of the western horizon. Green trees. Blue skies. Fluffy clouds. Purple flowers. Bright and beautiful.
So enraptured by this work of art, the man closed his eyes so he could keep the picture in his mind.
As he concentrated on his mental snapshot, the real landscape began to change. Darkness began to cover the whole area as gray storm clouds approached from the southwest.
The man never noticed.
All he could see was the beautiful picture in his mind. To him, that was the landscape. In reality, the landscape was now very dangerous.
Rain poured. Lightning flashed. Thunder rolled.
The man did hear the thunder, but he loved that beautiful mental picture. He kept his eyes closed.
The next thunder clap was much closer. His eyes opened instinctively.
The landscape was dark. Eerie. He shut his eyes and again saw the bright mental image of the beautiful scenery.
Then he heard the strangest thing. He thought he heard a train. There were no trains within fifty miles of his place.
Can’t be, he thought.
But that’s what he heard. He heard a train. And it was getting louder.
Impossible, he thought.
If it’s not a train, what else could it be?
Then he remembered. He remembered the stories. He remembered the warnings. Distraught people on the news always said it sounded like a train.
In fear, he let go of his mental snapshot of that long-gone beautiful landscape.
He opened his eyes.