Birthday, Family, Gifts
Comments 6

What Are You Waiting For?

Winter will soon be pressing in on us here in this Indiana valley and today seemed like the perfect day to make plans for spring. An afternoon stop at my local home improvement store turned up packages of colorful anemones, purple crocus and an array of red, orange and yellow tulips. Add those bulbs to a cluster of Madonna lilies donated by a friend, and I had my work cut out for me.

Armed with a garden spade, I tugged at wilted hosta leaves and pulled out clusters of invasive violet plants, digging to the prescribed depth to create a soft bed for these new additions to my garden. Carefully pressing the bulbs, pointed end up, I thought about the promise of color and fragrance held in each little orb. The bulbs, especially the hard, brown anemone, are rather ugly and not very inspiring. But I know the secrets they hold and, come spring, I know we will enjoy the surprise of a splash of fresh color following the brown, grey and white of winter.

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Anticipation is good for the soul, I believe. Looking forward to a special event, making plans for a new experience, patiently awaiting a new life…..the time spent in expectant anticipation is nearly as rewarding as the “gift” itself.

When I was young, I loved counting down the days to Christmas, calculating the weeks before my next birthday. As Christmas drew near and packages began appearing under our Christmas tree, I would plop down in front of the gifts and tingle with excitement as I guessed at what each package contained. It did not matter that in a family of five children only a couple of the gifts would bear my name. Just knowing there were surprises waiting to be discovered on Christmas morning gave me joy in the weeks leading up to the holiday. It was the same with my birthday, when I would make a tidy pile of my gifts and open them slowly, carefully, savoring each one, no matter what the wrappings revealed.

Burying a ring of yellow and red striped tulips around the base of a slender maple tree on this autumn afternoon, I thought of the many things I have eagerly anticipated in my life. Beyond Christmas and birthday gifts, there have been great events such as college, my first real job, marriage.

And there were those four boys of mine, spaced out over a dozen years. As I bore each one through nine long months, I savored dreams about what they would look like, the adventures we would share together, the kind of men they would become. Even now, watching their adult lives unfold, I delight in praying for the good things that await them in the years ahead.

We rush headlong through so much of life, racing to the finish line. But, I wonder — what would happen if we took a moment to savor the joy of anticipating the “next big thing?”

I think I agree with A.A. Milne’s wise little bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. Here was a fellow who knew how to get the most joy out of life’s littlest pleasures:

Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

This winter, while snow swirls through my little garden, I’ll press my nose against the window pane in anxious anticipation of springtime. It’s “what I like best.”

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This entry was posted in: Birthday, Family, Gifts

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Welcome! I'm so glad our paths have crossed. I am a traveler, just like you. Blessed with four sons in various stages of adulthood, my life is full with following their adventures and working alongside my husband on our small family farm in a beautiful Indiana valley. A writer at heart, this blog is in step with my determination to pause and relish the moments, people and events that challenge, motivate and inspire. Join me on the journey.

6 Comments

  1. Karen Selby says

    So good, Ingrid! I remember my fathers joy of his fall planting of spring bulbs. He even had a small spiral notepad kept in his shirt pocket to record where the different colors and plants were arranged in the flower garden. I do this too, by taking snapshots of the blooms. This is just in case a fine friend, such as yourself, needs bulbs of purple grape hyacinths.

    Remember Carole Kings song…Anticipation….

    Anticipation is a blessing…”looking for that glorious appearing of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

    Enjoy the planting season!

    • I remember your dad’s flowers, Karen. Didn’t he have rows of them between the house and garage? Dad always had yellow tulips around the border of our stone ledge. Good memories.

  2. Aunt Lila says

    Ah Ingrid what a way for me to end my day..This has been a week I will never forget..anticipation that is a word I will have in my head even after closing my eyes tonight..Love you..

  3. At about this time in October a visiting friend and I drove to the Gene Stratton Porter home in Rome City, IN. It was during Chataqua Days and the town was busy with a parade that morning. Alicia and I toured the Porter home and gardens, and I purchased some hostas there. As I was dividing those hostas for my own garden last week I was anticipating the growth of these and the Arbor Vitae we planted to replace some dying pine trees. We have replaced pines attacked by pine borers with trees of life. Anticipating the next 30 years of growth in our yard, hoping we will be able to stay here and see that…..as well as the growth in our little family. We are multiplying apace this year with two new grandbabies on the way.

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