Waiting. Many recipes require it. When making bread, you must wait for the dough to rise., before punching it down and waiting again. Some cookies require you to wait while the dough chills in the refrigerator or freezer before you can continue on with slicing, rolling it out or baking. Slow cookers, of course, embody the wait – although the hours of waiting time perfume the air with the deliciousness that is to come. Winemaking requires waiting as does really fine cheese, crème fraiche, kombucha, Amish Friendship bread and other sweetbreads made with a starter, a really great steak marinade my family often makes requires at least a day or two and homemade pickles can keep you waiting four or five weeks. When the waiting is over, however, you’re sure to be rewarded with something really special; something so scrumptious that it was worth the wait.
Once we leave the kitchen, however, the waiting may not necessarily be so fruitful. We wait for finances to improve so we can breathe easier and maybe get a new car. We wait for the weekend, wait for the weather to improve so we can finally enjoy the outdoors again or anxiously wait for a telephone call or a visit from a loved one to make the solitude and quiet go away, at least for a little while. Some wait for the day we finally find the one and know someone’s got our back no matter what. We wait for the day we don’t have to go to sleep alone and wake up just as alone. What will the next chapter of life bring; fresh new beginnings or just more waiting?
The difference here is that unlike the reward that waiting in the kitchen certainly brings, there is no certainty the things we wait for in all the other rooms of our lives will ever come to pass. What if all the plodding along through the days and weeks, working, eating, sleeping, working, eating sleeping, never develop into anything more?
I think about things that are or certainly would be worth the wait – the next time I get to see and laugh with my girls, my older daughter’s Tuscan wedding next year, and one day, some sweet faces that echo their mothers’ calling me gran.
And so I wait – not so patiently for all that I long for and hope will be. I’ll climb into bed alone once more, heave a big sigh and go to sleep resolving to bake some bread this weekend – at least that’s a sure thing.