I don’t do well with waiting. But I’ve come to realize that most of my life is spent waiting.

Waiting for something to happen, waiting for a call, waiting for a job opportunity, waiting for the doctor/dentist, waiting in line, waiting…

“I’ll be happy or at peace or relieved when (…) happens.” How many times have you heard someone say this? How many times have you thought this?

We roll our carts up and down the grocery store aisles, filling our baskets with food, feeling productive. Then, we head to the check-out only to discover a long line where we will be kept waiting our turn.

We travel to work or an appointment and traffic slows us down and makes us spend more time than we’d like in the waiting. The uncomfortable in-between of our homes and our destination. 

Nowadays, we often look at our phones while we’re waiting. Checking email. Reading the news. Catching up on any number of social media platforms,so all this time waiting feels like productive time. 

And maybe that’s the challenge of waiting.

It’s a space filled with perceived nothingness. 

Webster’s defines waiting as: to stay in expectation, as of an anticipated action or event; to be or remain in readiness; to remain temporarily neglected or undone. 

I was inspired to write this poem after watching surfers one day. 

The Next Wave

Another dawn

And I’m sitting atop the sandstone bluffs again

Watching the ocean rise and fall

Like someone breathing.

A surfer launches from the beach below paddling

in search of the next wave.

Reaching where the last swell crested

he straddles his board and waits on

the ocean’s heaving chest.

But no waves are in sight, just the sun

shimmering gold on the water’s blank surface.

How I wish 

something new would happen and either

sweep me to shore in a heart pounding rush

or knock me flying and tumbling in a swirl of water.

I think anything’s better

than the waiting. 

Is it possible to be happy, at peace, relieved while we’re waiting? I don’t know. But it’s a question I’m going to ask myself the next time I’m waiting. I know I won’t be waiting long for that opportunity.