I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
— T.S. Eliot

I often feel unsettled in the midst of a wait.  Whether the feeling is intense or slight usually (but not always) depends on what it is I am awaiting.  If the wait is in anticipation of meeting a goal or actualizing a dream, I likely feel some combination of optimistic, edgy, impatient, hopeful, and nervous.  If the wait is in the line at the grocery, I may err towards plain old irritation. 

There are those times, though, when I don’t mind waiting one bit.  I am able to embrace the anticipation of what’s to come – whether it is a new challenge or a grand total.  During those times the wait can feel like a sweet respite from all of the busy-ness around me.

And then there are those occasions when I have waited on a difficult time –Eliot’s “darkness” – to pass.  Now I am no Pollyanna, and, unlike some, I do not think there is always a reason for or lesson in painful experiences.  I do believe, however, that painful times bring something new and, oftentimes, this newness contributes to a way of being that has its own sort of joy, albeit on its own time.  In this way, I can see how the “darkness shall be light” and how, in hindsight, the still waiting in darkness can be “dancing.” 

I wish all of us peace in the times we must wait in darkness and I choose to have faith we will find our way back to the dance.


Four Quartets
By T. S. Eliot
Change & CopingWhitney Cain