I don’t know about the rest of you but suddenly I’ve hit the mid-winter February slump. The last two days of deep freeze here have left me a little stir crazy in both body and mind. This is the breaking point where I can fight and roar against the winter or just let it all go and surrender. Even though I’m ready for flowers and green the natural world is not, and maybe it’s time to get on nature’s time table and let go of my own. I’ve been reading The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski, on and off. Kapuscinski is the first African correspondent of Poland’s state newspaper. This is his depiction of a vast country and continent. In the beginning he writes,
“These people have a fantastic talent for waiting!” an Englishman who has lived here for years tells me. “Talent, stamina, some peculiar kind of instinct.”
Africans believe that a mysterious energy circulates through the world, ebbing and flowing, and if it draws near and fills us up, it will give us the strength to set time into motion-something will start to happen. Until this occurs, however, one must wait; any other behavior is delusional and quixotic.
Delusional behavior. How familiar this sounds.
Kapuscinski goes on to talk about the European’s idea of time,
He must heed deadlines, dates, days, and hours. He moves within the rigors of time and cannot exist outside them. They impose upon him their requirements and quotas. And irresolvable conflict exists between man and time, one that always ends with man’s defeat-time annihilates him.
It begs the question, what to do with time, patience, waiting? What else to do but let go the idea of control and put faith into the fact that when the energy draws near something will start to happen. It feels exciting and relieving all at the same time.