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02/08/2021

Playing the waiting game...

Gerry Moran Kilkenny

We are waiting for things to return to normal (if ever) Picture: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The one thing that we are all doing right now is – waiting. We are waiting for Lockdown to end.
To really end. To fully end. We are waiting for Covid to end. To curl up in a withered, spent ball, roll into the sunset and out of our lives. Forever! (We may be waiting!)
We are waiting for the Delta variant to disappear. Desist. We are waiting for our EU Digital Covid Certificate. We are waiting to visit our loved ones across the sea, around the world.
We are waiting to get into our local for a pint. A pint at the bar. With our buddies. With banter. With craic.
We are waiting to sit in our favourite restaurant and enjoy, once again, a meal out. Or rather a meal in!
Above all, we are waiting for things to return to normal (if ever). Waiting, waiting, waiting, that’s the name of the game at this moment in time. It’s what all of us have been doing during Covid – waiting. And it’s tedious, it’s boring, it’s draining and yet, waiting is something we, each and every one of us, should be used to.
Why? Simply because life is all about waiting. And all our lives we’ve been waiting. Nine long months we spend in the womb, waiting to be born, and when we emerge we are met, not by a brass band, but by two dewy-eyed parents who cannot wait to get you home, dress you up and show you off to family and friends.
Two doting parents who will spend the next few years waiting for a first smile, a first word, a first tooth and a first step. This same dedicated couple will spend the rest of their lives together (hopefully) waiting for you to grow up, get sense, get a job and settle down.
And so, we wait to be born only to be born into waiting.
Our waiting starts in earnest, a few short hours after our birth, with the first onslaught of hunger pangs. We look to the umbilical chord. It’s severed! Gone! We wait for a nipple. None arrives. We wait for a bottle. None comes. We wait for sustenance in any shape, make or form to come along. It doesn’t.
We HOWL. Suddenly a face appears, there’s a nipple, or bottle, in our mouths and a good warm feeling in our tummies.
We are maybe two or three hours old and already we have learned two very important lessons: 1. Life is about waiting and 2. Noise and waiting are intrinsically linked. Twenty-five years later we are still at it, honking our horns in traffic, waiting for it to move an inch or two. It doesn’t. We wait. We honk again. And again. Suddenly a fist raps on our window and a mouthful of expletives explode in our ears. As I say – noise and waiting are intrinsically linked.
Even as I write, each and every one of us, is waiting. Waiting for something or other.
There are folks waiting to get out of hospital and folks waiting to get in. There are those waiting to be married and those waiting to get out of marriage. People are waiting for work, others are waiting to retire.
Life is undoubtedly a catalogue of waiting. From that initial wait for food we proceed to wait for buses, birthdays, doctors, dentists, Christmas, the weekend, holidays, the right man, the right woman, We can’t wait to become teenagers, to finish school, to get a job, to leave home, to start a home of our own. To have babies of our own.
And we’re back to where we started. The circle of waiting is complete.
Which brings me to the ultimate wait: the wait for Death!
And yet, for all the waiting that we do in life we do not wait around for Death, even though Death is always waiting. In fact waiting is such an intrinsic part of life that even Death can’t stand in its way. Instead we neatly leapfrog it and continue waiting for what’s to come: Life after Death.
And if there is a life hereafter, a heaven or a hell, one thing, I reckon, is for sure: whatever else those angels and saints and demons and devils are up to they are, each and every one of them, waiting for something to happen. You don’t believe me? Just WAIT and see!
PS - Spare a thought for our dear neighbours who, after 55 years, are still WAITING to win a major soccer tournament. Sad or what? Ciao.

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