By SILKE JAUCK
Christmas has passed, but one word keeps lingering in my head: Anticipation.
In German, it is vorfreude, meaning the joy one is looking forward to already brings joy. Christmas and the act of unwrapping presents pass quickly, but the time of anticipation is building up over weeks.
What I do like about anticipation is that it is also connected to patience and waiting. Both are an art and seem to get lost in our time where almost everything needs to be instant and seems just a mouse click away.
Anticipation is a rewarding experience. Maybe that’s why I like the German tradition of celebrating the four weeks before Christmas, the time of advent. The weeks of advent bring us closer to Christmas, one day at a time. But they also have their own traditions like lightening candles on the Sundays before Christmas, slowly building up the anticipation but also enjoying the time spent waiting.
Anticipation is also watching the winter sun slowly rise over Mount Sentinel in the distance and slowly making its way down its snowy slopes across the University campus, and continuing downtown, till it finally reaches my Target Range neighborhood and wins over the winter fog hovering over our homes, one street at a time.
When the sun reaches our house and I can see in the distance see our neighbors’ horses galloping in sun-glistening, snow-covered pastures, then I put on my warm jacket and boots and enjoy my daily walk through our neighborhood streets. The people driving by in their cars wave at me, smiling.
It almost seems they know that I have spent hours in anticipation of this joyful walk.
Silke Jauck is a German native and Missoulian by choice. She and her family have packed and unpacked their suitcases and moving boxes in four continents and have finally settled in Missoula and called it home. She lives with her husband, three daughters, and a dwarf rabbit in the Target Range neighborhood. Silke is the publisher of Friendship Book, a made-in-Montana keepsake and activity book for children ages 6-12. She also has a blog about life hacks at Silke Good Ideas.