Seductive Waiting: Unshriveling the Dream Deferred
Most homesteading moments consist of waiting for what we want.
Today, on Friday the 13th, while sipping my apple cider vinegar water and waiting for my cyst to shrink, I sense impatience knocking. I know that if I let it in, the world will become a place of lacking, of frustration, even of hopelessness, since impatience tends to destroy my hope. At Ripples, waiting is what we do.
We wait to figure out enough about alternative energy to start using it. We wait for the hummingbirds to come. We wait for computer time to develop technologies to help make non-profits more efficient. We wait for solutions to the ringworm, the ants, the spiders, and the digestive issues that keep plaguing me. And while waiting, we work a lot. We try for days, weeks and sometimes months to research new solutions to our problems and strive to get just a little bit further towards living on a small piece of land and protecting it (and ourselves) from encroaching development. I want to defend Thoreau’s “wild places” and live like a mountain in complete symbiosis with everything from birds to bugs, but first, I must wait.
But waiting can be seductive. Studies have found that employees are happier waiting for their vacation to begin, than actually during their time off. Anticipating a vacation was found to be more fun than the vacation itself! I’m somewhat unconvinced that waiting to be healthy is more fun than being healthy, but, here’s a thought: if my attitude is right, then each day is a joyful day full of anticipation and excitement for the health soon to come. Every day is a day closer to opening the front door of our earth bag home and walking inside. I get joyous just envisioning that moment, and think of all the moments I have left just to envision it! The dream’s deferment seduces me into loving it even more, and listening to the calls of the crickets and the bleating of the goats as though they were promises from a lover.
A dream deferred does not necessarily have to dry up like a raisin in the sun. Perhaps it floats, buoyed by the determination and spirit of those dreamers who will not give up, who will enjoy every footstep on the march towards their dream, anticipating a whole new world by imagining that world and then living each moment like it were already here.