–as if this quiet day
with its tentative light weren’t enough,
as if joy weren’t strewn all around.
– Holly Hughes
I’m waiting for the cold front to come in. It is Sunday night and the weather has been unseasonably warm for the whole week. The weather people keep saying that on Monday the temperature will dip into the twenties. In fact it is supposed to happen tonight–they said around 7:00pm but now it is 10:00pm and still hot and humid.
It is winter and I expect it to be cold or at least not in the 80’s. So I am waiting. I’m impatient. I somehow believe that once the temperature dips into the forties I will be happy. The weather will be as it is supposed to be in the darker, shorter days of mid- winter. All will be right with the world. So I’m waiting. And the longer I wait the less I am present to what is happening now.
There are all kinds of things to wait for with their intangible promises that the world will be better and I will be happier if what I am waiting for comes to pass.
For months I waited for the election to be over. I was in a state of constant anxiety hoping that my candidate would be elected. I was waiting. Now the election is over. So now I wait again to see what is going to happen if we go over the “fiscal cliff.” I’m waiting. I’m impatient and agitated. I want things settled now, and I believe they are not settled. I believe that I cannot catch my breath, cannot relax my stiffened shoulders until the waiting is over.
I’m waiting until the budget is finalized and the taxes are paid. I’m waiting for the results of my lab work. I’m waiting to see if the check really is in the mail. I’m waiting for you to do what I expect you to do. When you wake up and realize my expectations then all will be well. I’m waiting for the stock market to go up and prices to go down.
I’m waiting to retire. I’m waiting for Medicare. I’m waiting to start a new career. I’m waiting until I am good enough to be loved. I’m waiting to earn my place in the big scheme of things. I’m waiting for the revelation that will save the day and end the waiting.
Months ago I started to pray for patience and equanimity. Each time I sat down to meditate I would ask God to give me patience and the equanimity that would allow me to roll with the punches delivered by life. As the poet Hafiz says, “ I heard God laughing.”
Oh my dear, I have given you a brand new year in which to wake up and discover everything you have been waiting for is here right now waiting for you.
So this is my new year’s resolution that starts right now this very moment — no more waiting. This day—this moment–is quite enough—joy is strewn all around.