This was my rainy morning view on my friend’s patio. I was hoping the rain would clear up for our day in town.
As I sat looking for a break in the grey, I thought about the Spanish verb: esperar.
“Esperar” means “to wait for” or “to hope.”
I realized this dual meaning as I was communicating with our friend in Spanish when our flight was cancelled due to weather in Houston. We used this verb a lot in our correspondence. She was “waiting” for us already at the airport. I “hoped” we would get on the first flight out in the morning. She “hoped” to see us soon. We are “waiting” to hear what the status is of our morning flight.
Waiting and hoping can be two sides of the same coin, depending on the language of course.
In English, it’s different.
According to google, “to wait” means “to stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.” And “to hope” means “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” or “a feeling of trust.”
What if the act of waiting became an act of having faith, hope, and trust? Would there be more patience with delays and unexpected events? What if we flipped the switch of what it meant to wait? What if these little unanticipated pauses can be welcomed pit stops to renew our optimism that things will work out the way they are supposed to? What if waiting was seen as a place to explore our creativity or an opportunity to reflect or to observe or a grounding of sorts? An unforeseen time to play or think freely?
Travel includes plenty of waiting times. Waiting for flights. Waiting in lines. Waiting to arrive. Waiting to depart. It implies that things will happen according to plan after a certain amount of time. But when you substitute the word “hoping,” it changes things. There is less control that is necessary and more optimism and faith if things don’t go smoothly. We become more active in our choice on how to perceive and react to the unexpected.
On my recent travels, it has been in the moments of waiting that I have connected with others and have been able to pay close attention. It is under the umbrella of the cafe in the pouring rain where a conversation goes deep. It is at the airport awaiting information about a cancelled flight where a new friend is made. It is in the line for the new flight that a logistical problem is solved with a stranger. It is in the airports, bus and train stations where I have waited that I have witnessed the most beautiful moments of human connection.
It is in the not waiting to live in that very moment that the waiting always turns into an unexpected hope.
Hope and see.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.