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dave’s day – month eleven

December 5, 2010

November is leaving us. And here is my piece …

Winter Waiting

If there ever were a season to capture waiting, it is winter. It’s barely begun here in Edmonton and already I catch myself waiting for it’s final days. I await the day when it takes 5 minutes to get the kids ready and off to school, rather than 25. I await the day when I can walk freely outdoors, unhindered by layers of “Thinsulate”. I await the day when I don’t need to choose between my peripheral vision and the warmth of my massive winter hood. When my glasses don’t fog unless I wear them in the shower.

In the meantime, another wait has begun. As November comes to a close, advent begins and we are waiting for Christmas. For anyone who forgets, the human traffic jams inside every mall, set to classic carols and glossy holiday muzak abominations keep this waiting clear and present. It will all culminate in that most glorious of childhood waitings – Christmas Eve. A chance to have your hopes and dreams fulfilled beneath a glittering tree tree.

And after that we wait for another year to begin, full of the same promise that perhaps eluded us behind the bows and ribbons. We wait for a chance to start over. We wait in that open-ended time when the new calendars are yet to go on sale, the days ahead of us unmarked.

And as for those of us here, in the Art of Waiting project, we wait for our film to finally see the light. We wait for a year’s worth of images to develop. Just one more month.

My own film captured mundane moments this month, but moments perfectly suited to winter waiting. Moments taking me back to countless days of waiting in my teens and college years. Moments waiting, shivering, for public transit.

Sunday morning I was set to speak at church, and thus I had to arrive much earlier than the rest of my family. Rather than drag them into the barren wilds, I braved the elements alone. Just missing my train downtown, I had two choices. Return home for 10 minutes, or trudge onward. I trudged, ready and waiting. Standing in the chill of ineffective space heaters, I surveyed my surroundings and found something that has made this waiting more bearable. A mural, painted across a once colorless industrial wall. A mural with silhouettes dancing through a rainbow of color. The mural makes me smile. And a smile goes a long way while waiting. I snap my first image, railway tracks framing the dance.

My second image comes as I emerge from the underground train system, into the crisp light of day. Up through the tunneled stairs, light breaks in around the branches of a frozen tree. We travel underground, but we always emerge. We hibernate, but we always awaken.

This is winter waiting. I am traveling on, often through tunnels, but headed somewhere. In the meantime, even the hot sun of a tropical beach cannot compare to the deep warmth of hibernation. The sledding. The cider. The thick wool socks and scarves. The joys of family and Christmas and piping hot turkey.

There’s nothing like a good bit of winter waiting.

In hope,

-Dave Von Bieker

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