Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. A. A. Milne
Tuesday night Maile and I sat at the small kitchen table in my parents’ basement. We have been in the basement now for only about six weeks, but it’s been seven months since we left our house and embarked on our cross-country trip. Seven months of living out of suitcases. Seven months of wondering where we will end up next. Seven months of occupying guest rooms while our kids sleep on the floor and our kids sleep here and our kids sleep there. Seven months of keeping bathroom supplies in what looks like an over-sized fishing tackle box.
I think we both felt a bit deflated on Tuesday night.
“You know,” Maile said. “It’s not that I don’t trust things will work out. I KNOW they are going to work out. They are ALREADY working out. But sometimes, even knowing that, you get tired of waiting for it. I just want to say, ‘God…I mean, come on!'”
There it was – the idea that had been floating around in my head, now expressed perfectly in the form of spoken words. Because that is exactly it. No matter how much faith you have, no matter how determined you are to persevere, no matter how hard your head has grown from knocking through that next brick wall: there are still days when you are just plain tired.
* * * * *
The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people. Randy Pausch
* * * * *
There is a particular weariness that rises in this space of waiting. But I don’t think it’s the waiting itself that is wearying me – I think it’s my resistance to the wait. I’m like a dog straining at the end of a lead, wearing the pads of my feet raw on the sidewalk as I desperately pull pull pull. The unnecessary effort chokes me. A firm, gentle voice rises just over the sound of my struggle.
Stop, The Voice says.
Breathe, The Voice whispers.
Wait, The Voice implores, and I try to listen, and I discover a new space of stillness, a space where I can feel my own heart beating in my chest, a space where the burden is inexplicably light.
How do you make the waiting bearable?