Daily Archives: August 20, 2007

waiting, revisited.

I was thinking tonight about traffic lights. I started by thinking about green. I immediately thought about how we look at green but start anticipating the change to yellow and then red. We expect that our progress will be interrupted. We expect that we are going to have to stop, to wait. We get very frustrated by these interruptions.

Then I thought about red. I realized that what follows red is….green. What follows stopping is going. When a red light in the other direction stops that traffic. When it’s safe. When it is my turn.

What if I looked at red as the prelude to green rather than the other way around? How would that transform how I think about the periods of waiting?

I would probably spend the time preparing to move, getting everything arranged for forward motion. I would probably look at the map to plan as well as I could. i would look around and stretch. I would be ready for green.

Instead, I sit at the red light, annoyed.

Maybe rather than waiting for the light to change, I should change my view. Then, when the light changes, I won’t be angry (“It’s about time”), I’ll be ready.

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Summer is over

For the 16th year in a row, this morning started with pictures. On the first day of school we have always taken pictures of our kids. (I’m not sure we know where all of the pictures are, which means I have less than two years to find all of Hope’s.) We take their picture, pray for each of them (every day, actually) and then release them to this next formal part of the future.

Hope is now part of the coffee cup flickr series, with iced coffee from the previous evening. Because this was the first rainy first day of school I remember, the light was important as we left for her junior year.

Andrew said, “people fuss about their pictures. But every expression in a picture has been on their face in public before. So why does it matter?” He increasingly less concerned with appearance and more with substance. Listening to him talk about some business concepts recently has been exciting.

And then Nancy and I went to the mall to walk and take care of errands. This would be the first time, however, that we have ended a walk with a snack. It was raining so hard that we decided to wait for it to stop.

Why bore you with this back to school letter?

  • If you have little children and are wondering if they ever grow up, the answer is that they usually do.
  • If you want to know what I’m about, you have to meet my family.
  • If you wonder whether I have a normal life, the answer is “No, but that’s doesn’t bother me.”

Thanks for stopping by. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled signs of life series later.

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