Yes, we're expecting, or at least I am. And I can’t think of anything reeking more havoc on my life right now.
I’m expecting spring. Now! And it isn’t. It most certainly isn’t. As I gaze out the great south bank of windows, I can’t recall a more wintry landscape---not just drifts, but drift sculptures---than what I’m seeing on this, the 19th of March, Equinox Eve.
I think I’ll cry now. That was my response to Linda after she texted her safe and sound arrival in Minneapolis at 11 this morning. She’d survived her first drive on a red stretch of highway, the dreaded MNDOT color indicating “hazardous” conditions. That’s worse than “difficult” purple but better than “travel not advised” navy. My emotional response, the release of worry, was precipitated in part by expectation. Grim and gory as it seems, part of me “expected” Linda to crash. Why else would I worry so?
Perhaps my statistical mind can’t help but compare tonight’s predicted 4F low with the normal 26F low. Perhaps last March ruined me for life. The day we moved into Home the Land Built, March 17, St. Patty’s Day, it was a sweaty 80F, the earliest 80F in history. A year later it’s 4? Ouch!
But in the end, what good comes of these expectations? None! If today we’re January I’d be in heaven. It’s impressive out there. For pity’s sake, we asked Architect Paul to design us a home the connects us to the Land and voila! It works. Just look at the drifting, billowing snow dust. Just listen to the howl of the wind and the hammering thud of ice sliding off the yoga loft roof onto the steel roof below. Feel the sting of air driven far south of its home by the sun.
It’s one thing to plan for spring. I’ve sipped many a Chai tea while browsing the Prairie Moon Nursery catalog. Of course, spring is coming. But to expect it today? I’m only setting myself up for the expectation-reality delta: the difference between what I expect and what actually happens.
This, my dear reader, is the challenge and blessing of my humanity. Like all of us, I’m gifted two lives: my actual life and the story about my life. And the Mike character in my own story is receiving too much foreshadowing, too much here’s what going to happen. Mike is going to hear the song of the robin. Mike is going to smell of the plum blossoms.
So to fully engage in my new life (isn't that in the sub-title of this blog?), to put an end to my missed-expectation attitude, all I need do is rewrite my story. “Mike’s an interesting fellow. It’s not that he’s clueless. It’s not that he doesn’t care. He just doesn’t think about tomorrow in the usual sort of way. To Mike, tomorrow is like his next breath of air, the next blink of his eye.”