Waiting: To remain or rest in expectation/To remain or be in readiness. We all wait for things. We wait for the mail. We wait for lunch time. We wait for Friday. We wait for our cars/trucks to be serviced. We wait on meals. As hunters, we do a lot of waiting on the next opening day. Deer season, duck season, turkey season or any other species that might have an opening date. We get all our gear ready, sight in our weapons, train the dogs tirelessly and then wait. The big day approaches and we lie awake in bed waiting for the alarm to sound. We’re usually two hours early, but we head out anyway. We then wait on the sun to come up. Sitting in a deer stand, tree stand, duck blind, behind a tree or in a brush pile, we wait.
As fisherman, we wait. Same as before, we wait on the alarm, head out in the boat, stand on the creek bank, cast a line and wait. We then wait for that catfish, crappie or bass to take hold of the bait and send our hearts racing. Lay a trotline, bait the hooks and then wait to go back and check the lines. We do a lot of waiting.
In my younger years I was too impatient to enjoy the wait. Now days, I cherish the moment. I enjoy the time spent in the stand, on the creek bank or on the dock just waiting on that elusive crappie to swim by. The time waiting used to be too long. I didn’t savor the moments like I do now. I find myself hearing every sound, seeing every movement as blades of grass sway from side to side. Every bird that quietly soars by and softly lands nearby catches my eye. As I wait on that deer or fish, I absorb all these things as never before.
Patience has never been a virtue of mine, but with most things, age has changed me. I heard somewhere, and some of you may recognize this, that “good things come to those that wait”. I have found this statement to be true many times. Something as simple as waiting just a few more minutes in the stand instead of leaving when you said you would or even knowing that your wait at a popular restaurant was going to reward you with a delicious meal. I find myself enjoying the wait more now. Striking up a conversation with the person next to you or just getting to spend more time in the field.
In my line of work, we wait. A. Lot. Some of the time we might wait as much as 24 hours. Now I try to spend that time waiting catching up on emails, taking care of paperwork, watching TV or just walking around looking. Waiting on products or services is unproductive when you need it right now, but out here, it’s nearly 2 hours to anywhere that supplies us. So we wait.
Next time you’re in the stand, sitting in the boat or just out and about, enjoy the wait. Pay attention to the wait. Listen more closely to your surroundings. Watch and see things you didn’t see before. Smell things that you never noticed before. Practice waiting, don’t suffer the wait. All while we wait.