When I tell my kids we’re going to do something, I might as well be forging it into stone or making a blood bond. In their opinion, I’ve promised them something will be, and they’re counting on it to be done. I remember those days in my youth. I looked forward to something, usually doing something out of the ordinary, and felt the anticipation, excitement, and adrenaline mixing up a cocktail within me. Heaven forbid plans change at the last minute. I wouldn’t always (if ever) cry about it, but my children go for an Oscar with their dramatic displays of disappointment. Inevitably, plans do change, and, I’m sorry, but a “maybe” is not a promise.
But let me not pretend that I don’t get that childhood anticipation cocktail these days, too. It’s just not as frequent. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism as we get older so that our hopes aren’t always let down. Honestly, though, hope and anticipation are not the same thing. Can’t you feel the difference?
Our days here have been warmer. I’ve seen daffodil buds and blossoming crocuses. I re-potted most my houseplants and have spent two afternoons tidying up the yard, assessing what trimming needs to be done. The forsythias’ buds are swelling, and I know it won’t be long before they burst into brilliant yellow, sunshine reflected. Spring has been promised, and I know it will come. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a few more frosts before then, though. I may have to weather a few more gray days.
We’re also nearing the end of Lent. Holy Week is just around the corner. My practices this Lent have been a little out of the ordinary, and I made promises with myself that I have to keep to help me grow. I also know the meaning of this time of year in my tradition. Promises were made and continue to be kept. Upon those promises, we ground a great faith and hope and Love. Through these we live our days with a great compassion.
If I trust in the assurances of the greater promises, such as Spring and Rebirth, and enjoy the sprinkle of the “smaller” promises made and kept without great attachment, it would seem that being fully present in the moment would come naturally. Another promise? More practice.