So when the first boy wandered back home from far away —
Maybe mothers measure distance in heartbeats —
he takes his old mama for a walk through the woods.
The summer had been long. Not the heat, but the way parts of us had felt a bit scorched. Yeah, you know — Burned.
All summer, we didn’t know if we were staying on the farm. Or if we were meant to hammer in a For Sale sign in the front field and go looking for a piece of good dirt somewhere else.
There’d been these long talks, the Farmer and I, the kids, trying to put out these burning questions, things that singed up the sides of us, that we couldn’t seem to escape. There were these long walks through the woods. Strange — you can look like you’re walking, but you feel like you’re groping — searching for some way through the smoke of questions. There’d been waiting. There’d been times I didn’t know if I could breathe.
You can have burning questions without answers, that make you desperate for the ER. That make you feel like you’re sitting endlessly in a Waiting Room, waiting for Someone to fling open the door and call your name, usher you into some relief and Real Life.
The boy who’s come home now at the end of the fall, he waits for me, up in patch of wild grapes —
It can look like we all have this Waiting Room Addiction:
Waiting for the next season of life to say it’s good enough.
Waiting for the next number on a scale to say we’re okay enough.
Waiting for the next dream, the next house, the next step up, the next bend in the road —
before we can finally start living, before we can finally step into Really Living. Before we can finally think we’ve arrived at being okay.
The boy grins and hands his mama a bunch of wild grapes. He fills his mouth with the juice of them, says it under his breath, exactly how his grandfather punctuates every few lines, “Thank You, Lord.” They taste like summer ripened into pure glory.
The fresh autumn air in the woods, between all these trees, between the space of my lungs, feels like this long exhale. A kid brother gets his kite caught in light.
Why in the world are we addicted to Waiting Room Living, waiting outside of Real Life — when Real Life is Happening. Right. Now.What cures us of our addiction to Waiting Room Living is ThanksGiving: When we give thanks for the miraculous Gift of Now — we get to step out of Waiting Room Living and into the miracle of Really Living.
You finally step out of Waiting Room Living into Really Living whenever you choose ThanksGiving. Thanksliving.
When I get home from the woods, I scratch down another 10 unlikely gifts I am grateful for right now —
and feel The Cure of Gratitude for Now put out the burn of yearning, the Waiting for Answers, the Waiting for What’s Next.
When your boy comes home to you. Just the silence expanse between falling leaves.
The way a kite can find what is unseen and rises … Rise Up.
I had told the boy that on the way home from the woods. How they say that —
They say that fruit will ripen into the greatest abundance wherever it rests grateful in the sun…
Watch The Cure: A Mini-Movie for ThanksGiving
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Related: The Book That’s Curing Me of My Waiting Room Addiction and The Dare that Changed My Life
What I’m doing this month: The Best Experiment I’ve Tried All Year