“I really miss having things to look forward to.”

I was chatting with a friend this morning about the little stuff we miss. I’m beginning to realize how much I need to have things on the horizon. Maybe a trip next winter or even just a trip to Anchorage with Andrew that doesn’t get cancelled. My friend Lindsey calls it the spiritual discipline of anticipation, and I’m missing it. Big time.

My hands smell amazing. I bought fresh basil weeks ago for the best-ever tomato soup and (as usual) didn’t use the whole package, so I cut the bottoms of the leftover stems and put them in a cup like flowers and, while I cannot keep regular plants alive for anything, I can apparently keep basil clippings on my windowsil above my sink until they bloom. I touched the cup to move it earlier and now, hours later, I keep getting a whiff of amazing.

Today on the way home from an appointment to meet strangers (that I forgot about and thus I arrived late and stressed out), I noticed just the faintest haze of yellow on the hill: Green Day. It’s possibly my favorite day of the year: the birch and aspen all decide in unison to start sprouting leaves. It’s just a kiss of yellow today, but by this time next week, the whole hill will be green. Last week I said I was feeling uninspired to take photos because breakup in Alaska is exciting, but not especially lovely. We’re just on the edge of spring overtaking breakup and I can feel the excitement.

We’re also sort of emerging out of quarantine. I went to Lowe’s just now and less than half the people were wearing masks. Mandates are starting to relax here and everybody seems to be taking Alaska’s “strong suggestions” a little less seriously. The mathematician in me is screaming “Nooooooooo!” But the part of me that has been cooped up with my kids for the last million years with no place to go? That part is all about it.

When I talked about having nothing to look forward to this morning, I forgot about these little (big) things: blooming basil, leaves on trees, seeing humans who don’t share my last name. I forgot about the tiny bits that don’t require me leaving for somewhere novel. Can I just enjoy the bursting forth of new life that feels so right as we continue through Eastertide and look forward to all it brings?

The spiritual discipline of anticipation continues, though my formal plans vanished. What are you looking forward to?

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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