It’s early and dark. In the south-east there is a place were the sun will come up, should it choose. Indications are good. So I wait for the first signs of brightening behind the city-scape. I wait.

Winter waits. The soil of summer-fallow waits, bulbs wait, bamboo is excellent at waiting, geese wait until the time is right. Beavers don’t abide waiting, but orb weavers don’t seem to mind. They spin and wait as long as it takes. The earth spins too, waiting its equinox.

But light bulbs, street lights, clocks, little chips in computers, never wait and will never care to wait. And we use them and anything else we can think of to train the waiting out of our lives.

The world of commerce is bent on bringing patience to an end. Industry and commerce keep company with the future. Corporations race each other to see how far they can project themselves into the future, or how much of it they can drag into the present, which destroys both.

Godot9There is madness here that we’ve normalized. Because life, our second womb, is about waiting. Waiting, not like Estrogon and Vladimir, but waiting without excessive effort in acceptance of a serial now. Impatience has nothing to do with waiting.

Advent is the season of expectation. It’s a storied rendezvous with a knowing midwife. A time for rekindled waiting—should we see to turn this to our soul’s advancement. 

And in Advent, we wait in a commemorative way, for the birth of Jesus. As people of the paschal mystery we are always anticipating some kind of birth and some kind of resurrection. And so we wait as one waits for dawn.

I can’t see it yet but soon east will grow orange. Behind the berm of buildings across the North Saskatchewan high on the bank, the trees will turn skeletal as light strengthens behind them.


  1. Stephen, you are most certainly blessed. How do you continually come up with such eloquent phrases and images, such important messages that reach down into the core of your readers?

    This was a perfect distraction from my end-of-semester grading (of some very poorly written papers no less)!

    From your Facebook post you indicate that patience is the companion of wisdom. I hope this is not the case as patience is not one of my attributes! And indeed, technological “advances” like the computer have made things worse.

    As I impatiently awaited the results of the negotiations in Durban that extended for two extra days, I felt like an addict checking into to all the media/social media sources I could think of. But I was only to be disappointed once again today when the official documents were posted. I read through them in maniacal fashion. COP17 was largely just another session of kicking-the-can-down-the road.

    “You have been negotiating all my life. You cannot tell me you need more time.”
    Christina Ora – Youth delegate from the Solomon Islands addressing the Parties at a high level plenary at COP15 (two years ago).


  2. This, again, is poetry that makes us feel less alone. I’ve been doing an inordinate amount of waiting over the past six months, waiting for things to give way, to be more a memory for me, than a daily reality… and the hope these words infused brought tears. Thank you.

  3. Thank you Diane! You are an encouragement. Yes, Durban…my hopes were not disappointed, as they were not raised to begin with. A sadness. But thanks for being there in the trenches, at least to a degree. (And hang in there with the grading. One of those kids with the poorly written paper was surely me:)

  4. Beautifully written, Steve, I concur with your friends. I have been reading a short book by Andrew Murray entitled, “Waiting on God.” On p. 62, he writes, “Dear soul! learn to wait on the Lord, more than watchers for the morning. All within you may be very dark; is that not the very best reason for waiting for the light of God? The first beginnings of light may be just enough to discover the darkness, and painfully to humble you on account of sin. Can you not trust the light to expel the darkness. Do believe that it will ….”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *