I waited and waited and waited. For a sign, a symbol, a hope-filled thought…for something I waited.
The birds’ songs surrounded me in a chaotic symphony. Singling out one of their songs in the midst of so many others, an impossible feat, just as it would have been impossible to pinpoint a single thought in the scrambled disarray of my mind. As I looked to my right at the colorful flowers I’d brought with me, I noticed that two bees had already found them as delightful as I had.
But I wasn’t there for the birds, nor was I there to admire nature…
I waited. I watched, I hoped and I waited some more. The grass was incredibly wet to sit on; the morning dew had arrived in apparent abundance. Despite the damp cool earth beneath me, I was too stubborn to leave quickly. I wanted my time, my moment. I wanted to find peace.
So I waited some more.
And I felt frustration. I felt discouragement. I felt as though the fog in the valley had dampened my spirit.
And I waited.
As the sparrows fluttered through the air above me, the robins hopped on the ground nearby. I stilled my mind, seeking a moment of revelation, a moment of calm, a moment of peace. A moment of something.
The breeze moved lazily in the trees, the birds continued to sing, the sun finally started to break through the clouds.
I continued to wait.
My patience never waned, as I spent time reflecting on what was and what will be. Yet, as the minutes passed, I started to ponder if maybe I was being greedy, too expectant. Maybe I was trying to force something profound, when all I needed was to experience profound silence. Maybe a visit to bring honor, to acknowledge, was all I was supposed to do. Maybe I was being selfish, self-seeking, narcissistic, thinking of only what I could get out of what I’d hoped could be a special moment.
Or maybe I was just missing my dad.
And maybe I’ve been feeling weak without his actual presence in my life. Maybe I’ve been profoundly feeling his absence.
Maybe it is okay that I’d hoped for a special moment in the solitude of the cemetery.
Just as I decided it was time to leave, something down the hill caught my attention. As it approached, soaring nearer and nearer, I knew my peace was found.
As I sat in stillness watching the bald eagle soar to greater heights, I remembered…
“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.” –Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
It wasn’t that I’d forgotten that verse, it wasn’t that it was even that distant from my mind, it was just… I needed that visual cue.
And I needed that permission to wait.
I left flowers at my dad’s grave today, in honor of his birthday. I wanted to leave a gift, a memento, to signify he’s never forgotten. But this time I did something different than usual…I kept several of the flowers for myself. The flowers now stand on my dining room table, tall and colorful in their vase. Their vibrant colors catch my eye every time I pass by them. Bold, bright, lovely, simple yet so meaningful.
I kept the flowers to remember my dad’s always with me, and as a reminder, he’s waiting, too…