Waiting

For the turning of the tide.

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Life is filled with longings, hopes, dreams, and waiting. Always waiting it seems. When my husband and I were young and newly married, it seemed we waited a lot. Waited for the next pay check, waited to start a family, waited to be more financially more secure. Waited for things to be easier. We didn’t stop living, but we were so conditioned and focused toward working toward a future goal, a better life, that I think often we didn’t savor what we did have in the moment. We were happy and deeply in love but were always looking forward, forward, to when times might get easier.

But I wonder now, a year after my husband of 44 years has died, if we also lost a little in the process. This holiday season, I have been missing him terribly and thinking back to those early years together when so many things seemed like a struggle that we sometimes forgot to live in the present. I think back now and wish that I could have appreciated a little more then, what was then.

On this Christmas afternoon just past, as it stretched into the fourth night of Hanukah for my young grandchildren, my heart was aching for those early years of marriage and children and hope. Yet the sorrow was vying with the fact that I knew that I was in the process of making new memories with them. I hope they will remember the Hanukah/Christmas that I began to teach the 7 year old how to use a sewing machine and helped the 4½ year old make a unicorn purse and string a heart necklace.

I hope that they will remember. Because now it seems that time is moving in reverse. I used to dwell in the future. But now if I dwell too much in the past, I will still not be able to  fully live in the present. Surely there is a balance to be had, of looking forward and hoping, while holding onto the memories and love of the past. And not losing either.

The tide comes in and nourishes the seaweed on the rock, then temporarily withdraws, allowing the seaweed access to light and air. It seems so simple when looked at like that. But it is anything but simple. It is, in fact, a complex ebbing and flowing that has taken eons for nature to perfect. How do I learn to manage that, keeping the delicate balance between holding and letting go?