Today we will make the familiar trip to Williamsburg to pick up Jacob for winter break from college. There is a fantasy that plays in my mind. He will be overjoyed to see us, his loving parents. We will whisk him home to family and he will embrace cherished traditions of making Christmas cookies, nighttime rides to look at holiday lights, classic movies of the season, and shopping for gifts.

Expectations like these all but guarantee disappointment. And even worse, they make no room for the beautiful surprises of life.

Living immediately is not just about being present here and now. It’s living with the knowledge that anything can happen in the next moment to change our best laid plans. Realizing this, we can decide to live in fear of what the future might bring or in curiosity (maybe even excitement) about the not knowing. –Kim Manley Ort, Celebrate Impermanence

What I do know is that Jacob has been tried-and-tested through his college experiences. He will likely stumble to the car in a near zombie-like state after exams and papers, papers, and more papers. He will sleep for days on end, on a schedule more like a newborn baby than an almost grown adult (up all night, asleep half the day). He will spend time with friends and go on adventures. And our joy will come from seeing him come into the fullness of his life.

Life is uncertain. Last year I thought my heart would break . . . and this year I sit in my studio and look out the window to this view, waiting to see what the New Year will bring.

Day 288

Day 288