Life consists mostly of waiting, punctuated with moments of excitement. It’s in the waiting that we prepare, learn, and change so we’re ready when opportunities emerge. I am thankful life isn’t an endless sequence of noisy excitement, how exhausting that would be! The waiting makes the positive moments worth it, and the negative moments easier to tolerate.
I like to write about the moments that exist in the between, because that’s where the really good stuff happens; that’s when the growth occurs. We meet people in all stages of waiting: waiting for a birthday, a graduation, the arrival of a baby, for a vacation, better job, a diagnosis, or a new horizon. What makes people fascinating is how they handle the anticipation.
Both of my 2023 releases find characters waiting. In the picture book When Mama Grows with Me, the parent and child move through all the steps of gardening from seed to flower, and in doing so, learn together to be more patient and grateful. Those times we do not see evidence of growth on the outside, are the times we are growing on the inside!
In the YA novel Whispering Through Water, characters wait for their futures to begin and for the truth to be discovered. (The family patriarch is even named for the playwright, Samuel Beckett, who wrote Waiting for Godot. A play in which two comedic characters wait around and wait around some more.) As the protagonist, Gwyn, finds herself in the between of high school and adulthood, she unearths fundamental truths to understanding herself and her relationships.
So what are you waiting for? How will you fill the time until the future arrives?
Keep looking up.
Rebecca W. Wheeler
School counselor, psychology educator, and yoga instructor.