One of my favorite songs is Deb Talan's "The Gladdest Thing" (based on Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem, Afternoon on a Hill), and one of the best lines in that song is:
"I want to be champion of evening, to forget not the beauty of the in-between."
I think of this line a lot when I'm feeling discouraged about my progress toward a goal. I so often get caught up in my dreams of what the future will bring for us--a tenure-track job for my hubby, a new baby at some point (not anytime soon--don't want to excite the grandparents just yet!), our home decorated just like I want it, a bigger house, a comfortable savings account and no debt, well-trained dogs that don't bark like maniacs every time someone comes to the door, maybe a book I will write one day--that I forget to "enjoy the beauty of the in-between."
Even now, here, in this moment, I should be enjoying the beauty of our "in-between."
As I sit in my quiet, cozy, (messy!) living room in our little rental house, as my daughter sleeps upstairs (after praying so earnestly for a little sister before bed!), as my husband's job applications float out into the world full of hope and potential (and not a little anxiety!), as we live this comfortable life (even though our savings have dwindled to a pittance after the gazillion doctor's visits we've had this month!)--I can either focus on how far we are falling short of our ultimate goals--or I can look for the beauty here in the in-between.
I tried to explain this to Flannery the other day, the idea of the "in-between." She was saying that she really wanted her bangs to grow out so that she could look just like her cousin. And I told her that her bangs were growing really quickly, and that I really liked them this length because we could sweep them over to the side, and they looked cute and breezy. I told her that once they had actually grown all the way out, that would be cute, too, but that the little wisps along the way were just beautiful.
I don't think she believed me. But really, the in-between is beautiful on her. Don't you agree?
Forget not the beauty of the in-between. There really are things to love about the time we spend on the path to our ultimate goals. Now if I could just remember this great truth more often than twice a year!
How are you enjoying the "in-between" in your life?