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Waiting for something to happen

January 21st, 2005 · 1 Comment

Richard at Just a Gwai Lo wrote about waiting. One sentence stood out to me from his post: Most of the books I’ve read are from having waited for something to happen.

I hardly wait for anything anymore. And I hardly read books. At least it feels that way. Occasionally I’ll have reason to travel to Seattle: I get in line early for the ferry to ensure our place on the boat. Yet even then I am often not waiting, in the sense I think of the word, with nothing to do. My entourage of three requires entertaining, and even though we are waiting for the boat, it often feels more like a playtime or referee time rather than a reading time.

having waited for something to happen. The phrase Richard chose brought to mind more than moments spent flipping pages of a book or magazine. While I don’t feel I spent much time waiting, I am waiting for something to happen, a few somethings, in various aspects of our lives.

The words also recalled times I had spent waiting for events in my life. The two occasions that came to mind involved my relationship with Ted. I remember waiting through the uncomfortable weeks when our future together seemed unclear, as we were evaluating each other and ourselves, seeking counsel, waiting to know whether we were going to get married or go apart. Life choices depended on our decision. While I waited, I made plans for possible paths (a little like Katherine’s coaching for her children) and tried to avoid any questions on the topic.

Waiting to become a mother was a painful time. However I started pursuing a new angle of my career, taking courses through a university program. Through the time of waiting, I learned lessons professionally and personally that wouldn’t have happened another way.

Richard linked to Karl whose French I don’t understand, but Richard translated a little

Karl is talking about waiting, of which I’ve done very much. His take on waiting on waiting is a positive: he is essentially saying that waiting lets you discover the beauty around you.

Too often I’ve been frustrated while waiting, irritated and annoyed, rather than enjoying the beauty around me. I don’t see the possibilities. Every moment has meaning, I believe. Every thing has purpose and place. Yet I still fight against it all.

Waiting is often seen as something that could have been prevented. We wait due to other’s incompetence and inefficiency – or our own errors. Wasting time is seen as sin. Yet there are times when we must wait.

Waiting for babies to be born was another experiment in patience. Most moms experience nine months of carrying baby in the belly, growing bigger and bigger. After forty weeks and the passage of the predicted “due date”, each day feels heavy in more than one sense. I was bursting with baby yet worn out from the wait. When I was in labor with my third child, ten days overdue, I was so emotionally exhausted that I didn’t believe it was finally happening, even after the nurse’s confirmation. After denying and hyperventilating, I indeed delivered my daughter that afternoon. Waiting though had taken its toll.

While I was thinking about waiting, I read The Nit Picker’s Guide to The Lord of the Rings [ via Ed Cone]….where I read this quote: Aragorn knew who he was, he knew he would be King and was simply waiting because his time had not yet arrived.

We wait because the time has not yet arrived. I say I believe in a time and place for everything. But if I did believe it, I wouldn’t wrestle with waiting. I would have a quiet confidence and patience, and perhaps even courage like a King.

Summer is my favorite season. I can’t wait for winter to end and signs of spring to show in the soil. But there is beauty in winter. And there is beauty in waiting. If I am willing to see it and live it.

Tags: journal

1 response so far ↓

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