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following true north
Because I must be heading somewhere or I'm totally lost, right????
My husband kept a piece torn from a magazine in his top dresser drawer for many years. It said something like, “How much time in our lives do we waste by waiting.” (For background, Kevin is pure Irish by bloodline and is prone to a certain romantic melancholy.) Anyway, he would take out that well worn morsel of paper and read it often and we would talk about it. It troubled him.
I never found it as profound as he did but it did inspire me to write down something vaguely similar that was written on a chalk board in an Annapolis restaurant in 2009.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
but learning how to dance in the rain.”
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At the time I was with a friend from my turbulent teenage years and it brought back a delicious memory of the two of us dancing in the raining together. I wrote it down in my notebook that day and since then have written it in others. It just stayed with me. Then recently, it popped into my mind again when I discovered through my Spanish lessons that the verb for waiting, “esperar” also means hoping in Spanish. Amazing! One word – means both. Maybe because waiting can lead to hoping? (notice bright light bulb going off above my head here) Even in English, the meaning of waiting and hoping are somewhat related. So, I returned to my familiar phrase with fresh eyes and my very own interpretation . . .
Although waiting is passive and implies being stationery
hoping is neither of those. To hope is to be active.
It involves dreaming, looking and reaching forward, longing for something.
First you wait and then the waiting leads you to hope.
My chalkboard phrase is no longer about only two choices - wait for the storm to pass or learn to dance. Instead, it is about a process. A process that involves a new stage called hope.
And so, we wait for the storm to pass, but not for too long – because while waiting we begin to hope. And in that hopeful, dream filled place we learn to dance. And whether the dance begins with a crack of thunder during the deluge or in the final misty drops from the very last cloud passing, that's OK. I mean, it really depends on the storm we're in at the time. It doesn't matter anyway, because we are living throughout the entire process. Not passive and not wasting time. And if we should get hung up in hope for awhile, no worries, it's a beautiful place to be.