We’re in the in-between-times right now. I suppose if I’m honest, it’s felt like that for over a year now. A year ago at this time, we sadly realized we would not be able to build our house on the land we thought we’d raise our children on. A year ago at this time, we had already spent a whole year working with architects to design a main house, caretakers’ house, and guest house only to never see those house plans come to life in real buildings. And we moved on, letting that dream go so that we could start anew on this ranch. And now we wait some more. Waiting for the county to approve our house plans to begin the building process. But nothing ever takes as long as you think it will take in house construction; it always takes longer. And so we wait.
I’ve been reading Emily P. Freeman’s new book A Million Little Ways. In one of her chapters she writes about “the pain of letting things grow.” I’m 7 months pregnant now, but I want to be 40 weeks. I remember last time around how slow the process of pregnancy is from conception, to wanting my belly to show, to the final days of entering labor and giving birth. And so I wait.
I’m well acquainted with waiting though I’m not very good at it. I waited a long time until I finally met my husband at age 29. There were no other male suitors in my life before then. I mean, yes, there were dates here and there, but no relationships. And then I waited another two long years for my husband to propose to me. It felt like a really long wait.
It’s easy for me to wait and be still and be stagnant and feel like nothing will ever move forward in the way I want it to. But I think Emily is spot on when she writes about “learning to move while you wait.” I have to hope like the daffodil bulbs we planted last month that my in-between-time will be fruitful. That though my movement may be “so small it feels like stillness” that I will live fully in these moments of waiting and keep moving forward. Maybe it’s slowly, but life can’t be put on hold merely because we’re waiting for something better to arrive.
It’s the last day of 2013. I thought it was time to begin what I’ve been wishing and wanting for some time now. I’ve decided to make 2014 the year that I show up and dare greatly.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
–Rilke’s Book of Hours, I, 59
January 1, 2014 at 4:03 pm
At 69 I have often waited for life to move now I often am happy when it seems to stop for me. You are a wonderful writer I look forward to more. But I wait!