Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lent Is About Waiting

As I wait for the letter from the Bishop, I'm meditating on patient waiting.

That's not my natural state of being. I much prefer to act. Thus, in preparation for putting our house on the market, I spent 90 minutes yesterday and 90 minutes today cleaning up the yard and bagging garden debris. I'm sore this morning; my back will be really sore tomorrow. It looks better though, and all the lovely daffodils, grape hyacinths, mertensia, and even a few tulips are in bloom, so the garden looks like what I hoped for: an English cottage garden. Of course, gardening, especially with perennials, is another exercise in waiting. We plant the bulbs in the fall, and they bloom in spring. Sometimes they don't bloom the first spring. Sometimes they naturalize over several years, so a small patch of yellow becomes a bigger one. I have a couple of perennial plants that were about three inches in diameter when I planted them five years ago. They're about a foot in diameter each now, and slowly spreading over the lower part of the front yard. Very pretty indeed.

Buried deep in the dirt of the yard are the seventeen year cicadas. They came up from the dirt two years ago, buzzing around like slow-moving helicopters, with their big red eyes and noisy whirrs. They wait, too, for their rebirth, every seventeen years. They come up, mate, lay their eggs in the bark of trees, and die. The nymphs fall into the dirt, to wait for seventeen years before their brief romantic interlude.

Here we sit, for forty days of waiting. We wait for the sad and horrifying tale of Christ's crucifixion. We wait for three days beyond it for His resurrection. We wait, and there is tension in the waiting, even though we know how the story ends. We wait because we need to be reminded of the glorious ending to the story, and our beginning in its ending.

So I am waiting, and trying to learn the lesson of patience. I don't have to wait seventeen years. I don't even have to wait from fall to spring, nor even forty days, most likely. Soon the letter will come, and with it the beginning of a new life, which celebrates His ending and beginning.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

The waiting is *indeed* the hardest part. I love your image of the cicadas, and do hope your wait will not be much longer.