As I write this, I'm waiting. Waiting for the another page to load so that I can leave Margaux a comment about her gorgeous Swallotwail. Waiting for Activity Period to be over so that I can walk down the street to Marvelous Market and get myself a little something for lunch. So while I wait for the page to load, I'm glad to be able to write a post. And while I walk down the street, I'll be cursing the cold that keeps me from being able to knit the miles of I-cord I need to complete for garlands before Christmas. Was I always such a multi-tasker, or did motherhood- and its neverending demands that I keep up with This (dirty diaper), That (laundry), and The Other (oh, yes, the cats), all at once- do this to me? I can't wait anymore. I must be always doing.
Or maybe knitting did this to me. I can't sit down without needles in my hands. Watch a movie? Without yarn in my lap? No way. I knit while watching my son eat dinner, in between wiping his hands off (he's a bit compulsive) and jumping up for more "dippy" (ketchup/marinara/syrup). I knit while reading before bed. I knit during carpool (two repeats of Branching Out a day). When I have to sit too long at a stoplight, my hands start to twitch. I'm sure you know the feeling.
Maybe I've been thinking so much about waiting lately because we're all still wrapped in the iron blanket of events of the past month. There's no rushing this. Grief, healing, recovery takes time. We are forced to stop in our tracks. Even those of us who initially responded by doing, doing, doing now find ourselves a bit bewildered and frozen.
Jess, over at Fig and Plum, posted the other day asking for favorite Etsy sellers. As I spent a happy hour (or two) surfing through the listed favorites, I noticed that the items I was most drawn to were postcards, notecards, and stationery. This wasn't a conscious thing, but rather a pattern that emerged as I followed link upon link. My shopping cart started to fill up with cards from PhotoBird, The Black Apple, and Young&WithIt Industries, all of which arrived yesterday.
And while it may be silly to think that a minor shopping spree has visited itself upon me in order that I might embrace Larger Truths, I do think that my desire to snatch up stationery may just mean it's time to slow down and practice that art that my grandmother and mother still hold dear- letter writing. It's not as tap-tap-tappy quick as email. You can't knit while you do it. You have to wait, wait, wait for your recipient to find it in her mailbox. But at the end there's the gift of the handwriting- the personal mark- and the time it took. So here's my first New Year's Resolution: I will write at least three letters a month in the coming year.
Waiting is so hard. We waited for today's good news about the Kims, and we still wait to hear about James. Today my students, who are also Tim's (Mr. Frick's best friend is also my co-teacher), planted 600 bulbs on the playground in honor of his wife Melissa. They laughed and pulled at the oniony skin while they waited their turn, but when they stepped out onto the dark earth to plant them, it was with quiet reverence. And now we wait until April, while winter does its slow work.
It will be beautiful. Well worth the wait.