Birth and death: the last holdouts against the hegemony of the day planner. Everything else you've got pinned down. You set appointments; you cancel them and keep them; you schedule them and reschedule them; you generally operate under the assumption that you are the boss of yourself.
And then you give birth.
Or you don't.
I'm five days past my due date, no contractions, no anything doing. So I'm waiting. And waiting -real waiting, no deadline, no line in the sand- is uniquely humbling.
We used, of course, to wait all the time. We waited for the rabbit to spring the trap, for the first green shoots of spring, for the rekindling of light above the horizon. But we're consummate editors, we humans, and in the last few hundred years we've struck through wait after wait. We want a rabbit, we head to the grocery store. We crave greenery, we ship it in from Mexico. At night, we flip on the lights and fire up the TV. Waiting, nowadays, lurks only in our darkest spaces: a great, moist stillness silting the roots of our lives.
We are born; we die. And, for once -or twice- we wait.