For a number of years as we drove on the main road near our neighborhood, Alice and I would see a woman hoisting a sign advertising a shoe store. Sometimes she'd be twirling the board or using it as a dance partner. The white of her earplugs signalled the music to which she was moving. We began waving to her and she would acknowledge us.
About two weeks ago, a long walk took us to that intersection and there she was. Greeting her, we told her that we wave to her when we pass by in our car. With a smile she said, "I feel like a celebrity!" Then she added, "Tell me what car you drive so I can remember that it's you."
This woman is on the sidewalk doing her thing. I think of the conclusion of Milton's poem, "They also serve who only stand and wait."
In a world of instant messages, instant coffee and instant relief, what happens to us (in us) when we have to wait?
As Eckhart Tolle writes:
Make it a habit to monitor your mental-emotional state through self-observation. “Am I at ease at this moment?” is a good question to ask yourself frequently. The fact is that you are resisting what is. You are making the present moment into an enemy. You are creating unhappiness, conflict between the inner and the outer.
I don't know what is going on inside the heart and mind of the sign-waving woman. She seems happy with her job.
All of which brings me to two questions: "What message is my soul writing to me at this moment?" and "What sign am I giving off that comes from within?