You know how it feels when you’ve planned a fun day away at the amusement park? You’ve been planning on it all week. Then as you get close to the park and you turn toward the parking lot, the lines begin. Lines and lines and lines, because everybody else was thinking the same way you were, and came today too.
But you don’t let the line at the entrance dissuade you. You still feel excited about the fun you know you’ll have. You make your way past the ring toss, and the bean bag games. You even pass up the corn dogs, funnel cakes and mini donuts just to ride the roller coaster.
Then you see the line of people waiting to ride. It’s long and winds up and down and back and forth through a maze of brightly painted steel rails. At least the paint is cheerful, because the people about half way through the line are looking a little worse for wear and are anything but cheerful. Their kids are climbing on the rails like it’s gymnastic equipment. One child even does a very nice dismount with hands stretched out high.
You briefly consider going back for the mini-donuts to help pass the time that you’ll be waiting in line. But people are swarming into the line behind you, and you don’t want to lose your place. So you begin the waiting games just like everyone else. Swaying from side to side as you shift your weight from one foot to the other; checking your cell phone for messages, and looking over everyone else in line. With everyone swaying back and forth it looks like a disorganized dance line. Slowly but surely you make your way a few feet forward at a time toward the rollercoaster.
You feel the latent anticipation and excitement, because you know that once the wait is over and you finally board that rollercoaster car, buckle that worn seatbelt and the guy comes to latch the safety bar across your lap, that you’ll absolutely love the ride. The long slow ascent up that first hill and the twists and hairpin turns that follow with arms raised up high and screaming all the way. It’s amazing and well worth the wait.
Okay, so I have a lack of patience, I admit it. It’s a well rehearsed and deeply engrained character flaw. I reach into my purse for the 35th time in the past half hour to check my cell phone. Still nothing, no response message from that silver-haired Hawk who winked at me. I try to settle myself into my seat at the theater, balancing the popcorn and a soda as I try to find my glasses. I’m still in denial about my eyes getting older, so I don’t put them on until the lights are dimmed. Fortunately the movie takes me to another place for 97 minutes. Although I did leave my cell phone on my lap through the whole movie, just in case.
As I make my way from the darkened theater and my eyes and mind adjust to the reality that he must clearly have plans and be out for the evening. I feel the frustration, the same kind you feel when you’re at the back of the line for the roller coaster. You know it’s gonna be fun.. at some point. You just wish it would hurry up and get here already!
A couple of years ago a good friend told me that I really needed to learn patience. I replied to him that patience should be a four-letter word. He said, “It is, W-A-I-T!” Smarty-pants! I feel like I’ve been waiting for a long time already to have my dreams within sight. As I see them approaching, even on a new horizon like this, the anticipation builds within me until I feel like I’ll erupt. Kind of like the tension in the air before a thunderstorm lets loose with all of it’s energy in that first lightening bolt.
Fortunately for me, the Hawk finally landed late on Sunday afternoon. His note was simple, clear and direct. I like that. It said, “Thank you for the sweet email. I’m not much for computers, would love to talk to you. 555-555-5555.” He signed it with his first name.
I could feel the safety bar of the roller coaster being latched as I read his name on the note. I took a deep breath as the roller coaster began it’s very first ascent. I began dialing… and it started ringing. Just as I told myself, ‘don’t get scared now’, he answered.
His voice sounded gentler than I thought it would. I guess the image that his profile name gave me was big, strong and powerful. When I greeted him and told him who I was, I could hear the excitement in his voice. We chatted about how we’d each spent the weekend. Funny…. we were both hoping to hear from each other. Our first phone call, just like a roller coaster ride, was amazing and well worth the wait.