delayed gratification. it’s something we are growing used to in these days of days. anticipatory glee. it’s all an exponential wait-for-it. as relatively impatient people, these are mostly new learnings. there is no date on which we can hang our all-will-be-normal hats. we must vamp until we know.
a long, long time ago, in the end of march, there was an opinion written by a woman with two teenage daughters who had a new appreciation for the way her grandparents lived. she expressed that these grandparents owned a tiny home and had simple furnishings. they took pleasure in the most basic of things: dancing in the living room, watching a bare minimum on tv, sitting on the porch, crossword puzzles, having conversation, walking the familiar sidewalks of their tiny town over and over again, handwashing the dishes. in the midst of this pandemic she could see their shining appreciation of the smallness, the stillness. she could see the brilliance.
it occurs to me that we are living elements of her grandparents’ lives; i hope the same wisdoms will be bestowed upon us. in the time after we have finished our work, we dance on the patio, watch little on tv, converse together, in texts, on the phone, on videoconferences, across driveways. we sit on the deck or in the sunroom and watch spring chuggingly arrive. we walk the same sidewalks we have walked together for years, noticing small changes: the heaved concrete or the bloomed daffodils, new mulch in gardens or new sturdy fencing. we cook dinner; we do the dishes. we are both quiet as we wait for what will come and we are just a little noisy in the moment.
to everything there is a season. a time to plan. where we will go, what we will do, who we will visit. gratification, yes, delayed, but sage learnings in the moment.
one of the memorable texts of this waiting-place was one from a friend. after some really serious life conversation, back and forth texting, she wrote, “let’s go out and have a drink.” before i could wonder when we could do that, her next text arrived, “next year,” she added.
in the meanwhile we’ll do the dishes by hand and walk the sidewalks, waiting and planning, yearning, vamping till the song starts.