Then You Wait

Early March 2023

A Monday nearing noon — such a clear morning after a week of winter storms. The garden is bejeweled with early buds and blooms. After the lash and fury of rattling hailstorms and whipping winds– this! This gentle, trusting, tranquil willingness to let go of the past and blossom. A yearning wide as world for the audience of the sun. Today I too want to open. To be surrendered to the blueness of the sky above, the damp fertility of Earth below, and the laden invisible that dances between.

Today, I too am willing to lean in and listen, after a week of being remote and recalcitrant. Not with any person in particular. Just with the threaded needle, the running stitch of life itself. Resistant to the pull of deeper currents and the summons of scented breeze. Shut into myself and forgetful of the keys. Full of low grade irritation and weariness, unsympathetic to causes other than my own. An inner climate so petulant and extreme, it would have amused me if I hadn’t been so — cross. How cross I can get after crossing my own borders, after giving from exhaustible reservoirs. Instead of living like the river, that fills even as it empties.

How flighty and unsubstantial the world and everyone in it, myself included, seem at such times! Everyone that is, except V. Always he is my exception. Even in my most disoriented moods, he I can track, as the compass needle, north, without even trying. He is never to be found skittering off in different directions, or setting my teeth on edge with heedlessness. He stands like Kilimanjaro or Kailash. A magnificence fit into my life, an immeasurable goodness, a towering and winsome un-weaver of my unhappiest tales.

But even I with my limitations know it is highly unlikely that the world was overrun overnight by feckless aggravators. And if this appears to be the case it is only because I have got my feckless aggravator glasses on. And I have temporarily forgotten how to take them off. Either that or some peculiar part of me is recklessly enjoying this experience. The experience of not having to like everyone and everything all the time.

I will admit it. On occasion it can be rather refreshing to entertain a grumble or two or thirty-seven. To sit them down, over snackage and tea. The trouble only starts when they ask for a set of keys. When your grouses drop by once in a blue moon, you find their company stimulating, their peppery points of view admirable. Such straight-shooters, such independent thinkers, such freedom from the fetters of politeness! But after awhile what felt invigorating at first, begins to drag at your ankles. What felt fortifying now uses up all the oxygen. And you realize you want your house to yourself again. Then what?

Then you wait.

Not like a woman who has been told to be quiet and stay in her place. Not like a schoolgirl impatient for the bell. Not like a prisoner serving out an interminable sentence. You wait like the bare Skeeter’s Broom maple at the tail end of winter. Bedraggled from afar, but close up studded with tiny leaflets, deep red and tightly folded. Listening keenly to light and air, earth and cloud. Receiving richly even in seeming poverty. By just being, preparing, without anticipation, for a return of glory.

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