Journeys are usually associated with moving, travelling, going somewhere, but recently I have noticed just how much of travelling involves waiting around! Waiting at traffic lights, traffic queues, at road works (especially so in my locality at the moment). Waiting at bus stops, stations, airport lounges. Waiting to meet someone, waiting to say goodbye to someone, waiting for a train or bus, waiting for a ticket, or announcement. Waiting at baggage pick ups, waiting for paperwork. To any one who travels, waiting is a familiar part of the process.
I find it a hard part of journeying, I want to be “getting somewhere”, making progress… I feel impatient when I am sitting “stuck” in a queue.
In my family over this last month we have been preparing to say goodbye to my 96 year old father-in-law. He embarked on the next stage of his journey when he died peacefully at the weekend, and in one sense the waiting was over for him and us. There is a mixture of emotions for us- sadness and missing him, but glad that the months of waiting he has endured in his weakening, suffering and increasingly immobile body is now over. He is moving again, onward and upward, free from the constraints of mortality.
We are now preparing to move on into our ongoing journey without his company. But for us there is still waiting – dates to be fixed, arrangements and ceremonies. Waiting for forms, phone calls, appointments.
It is a strange time, waiting. On hold, in limbo….
My “small stones” practice, is helping me see the opportunities in waiting, time to look around, time to notice… Helping me to temper my impatience and learn that waiting is part of the journey. But I don’t find it easy…
How do you cope with waiting…?