A day at Disneyland is magnificently great
for getting up early and staying up late
as treasures abound from the opening gate
and whirlwinds of wonder...for all those who wait.
As we approached the end of our day's journey, we had saved the best for last (at least in my opinion).
I had secured a FastPass for use between 11pm and midnight. We finished the 'Indiana Jones' ride at 10.50pm. Perfect timing to end our day in a perfect way.
The boys and i raced up to the entrance like i did the first time i rode it in 6th grade with my friends.
And we were greeted by two Disneyland 'cast members' informing us that the ride was CLOSED for repairs.
Ian (who was up two hours past his bedtime already, and running on pure adrenaline) kept waving his FastPass toward them as if it were a 'magic key' to allow us entrance to this, my favourite ride in the 'Magic Kingdom'.
No such luck.
We were informed that the shut down was temporary, and that there was no guarantee that the ride would re-open that night. But we were welcome to wait if we chose.
As if we HAD any other choice.
We had been waiting 15 hours to experience Space Mountain. And we would NOT be denied.
One more hour to wait?
And so we waited.
i did my best to engage in 'active waiting'...i sang songs and told stories to Ian...i listened to Trevor's impersonations and jokes...i called Kir (who was waiting outside the exit of the ride) to see if there were any indicators from there of when the ride might open again.
20 minutes passed, and no signs of life.
Hope was wearing as thin as the smile i tried to keep plastered on my face.
Then, unexpectedly, another 'cast member' sauntered down to the other two 'cast members' with no real sense of urgency, cracked a whispered joke with one of them, picked up a phone (hopefully to 'mission control' or 'Commissioner Gordon' or someone who could get the friggin' ride started up again), put it down, released the chains that had kept us bound up from experiencing the exhilarating freedom of 'space' travel, opened the doors, and let us loose.
And we ran.
And arrived at 'mission control' first, breathless and ready for boundless adventure.
And that it was.
(substitute the three of us for these random people, and you get the idea.)
Over my journey through these past several months, there have been many ups and downs, highs and lows. So many 'doors' of opportunity that i have happened upon - some very intentionally, others quite surprisingly - have ended up closing, sometimes almost right in my face. And circumstances have left me with no other option but to wait.
And so i've waited.
I've done my best to engage in 'active waiting'...following up on any personal or professional contacts possible...sending my resume anywhere in the country for most any job openings in my field...applying to jobs i hadn't worked at or even considered working at for the past 25 years.
5 months passed, and almost no signs of life. Or employment.
But i've come to realize, however belatedly in my journey, on a level only newly experienced, that as i am waiting for something to happen around me or to me, something is actually happening WITHIN me.
Something living that is growing me...and enlarging me...
my interactions with others widening my perspectives on life...
my encounters with despair broadening my experiences of hope...
my confrontations with suffering deepening my capacity to love...
my season of waiting enabling my ability to WAIT...and TRUST...that what is growing deep within me will finally emerge and be born into the light of a new day...and that what i will experience in that moment will be so powerful and magnificent, so glorious and transcendent, so joyous and incandescent, it will leave me breathless and speechless.
But whatever it is remains within me...for now.
And the doors to the new adventure remain closed...for now.
And the journey towards something resembling a 'magic kingdom' continues in a mostly bleak and barren place...for now.
My feet, legs, back, and head are sore.
My wallet is almost empty. So is my heart.
Certainly not 'the happiest place on earth' to be...for now.
But maybe it's only when your body aches the most that you can begin to experience healing.
And maybe it's only when you are truly and completely empty that you can begin to be filled again.
And maybe where i end up won't necessarily be the 'happiest' place on earth.
But i sense it will be the place that transcends the 'happiness' and 'sadness' of life that comes and goes like the thrills and chills of a roller coaster, the 'ooohs' and 'ughs' of the unpredictable circumstances of life.
The place of deepest JOY.