We waited at the bus stop for 45 minutes. The bus we were trying to catch came a few minutes early and we were a few minutes late. The next bus wouldn’t come for a half hour, and still it was late. We only live a few blocks away, we could have easily walked back home and filled the time some other way, but I happened to have my camera with me, and something about staying felt suiting.
I appreciate and respect empty space and am intentional about finding it or rather, allowing it as often as possible. I’ve seen my girls stretching themselves inside these empty spaces over time. I'm learning this makes a lot of westerners itch. As a culture we don’t know and understand this nuance, but I love doing nothing, and yet I have never understood boredom. At any given moment there is an entire world to study and define, let alone an entire universe inside ourselves. Blank space is never dull, and boredom is only for the careless. While I want to give my children the freedom to be any and all things, so far I don’t find then to be dull, and when they are with me, they will not be careless.
A few years ago I would have thought today would have been impossible. For over forty five minutes we waited, and here is the clincher, we did it joyfully, almost peacefully. The sun came and went. The rain came and went. It's as if the revelations of the last few years were condensed in this little pocket of time, on display, if only for us, but probably for me. Without a toy or piece of technology, without any form of distraction, we looked and inquired. We kept to ourselves and then we engaged and shared. And of course we, (they) touched things that made my heart and mind panic and race, just in case I wanted to believe I had mastered the art of keeping my cool.
There was once a season, or two or three, where I cursed public transit and thought it was the barrier to a better, easier life with children. But in a world full of instant gratification and shallow reward, I am grateful that something, anything, has kept me waiting. It has turned out to be a consistent guide and teacher. This waiting and connecting is like a muscle getting strong with time and repetition. We have had both. I think it took pushing through the threshold which was not achieved by my choosing, but only through survival to understand that inconveniences are what keep me right where I’ve always wanted to be. I think inconveniences should rather be called invitations. Sometimes it's just hard to say yes.