Master told me to wait. He didn’t tell me what to wait for or how long to wait – he just told me to wait. So what was I to do? I waited. I stood by the garden gate, which was where I was when he told me to wait. It was cold. I had my jacket on, but standing in the snow it was still cold. I tried to stay still, but I’m only ten. My mom once said, “Little boys were not made to be still,” – I think she’s right. I picked up a stick and started knocking the snow off of the top of the fence. It only took me ten minutes to clear all the snow off.
I tried to stand still again, but I didn’t do a very good job of it. I found myself jumping back and forth, from one leg to the other. Then the wind picked up and blew snow into my face. I turned my back to the wind – it helped a little. I listened to the wind blowing through the hood of my jacket. I imagined it was talking to me. “Why would we wait? What was wonderful when war was won? Where were we when wind went?” Then I heard another sound – a scraping.
I turned around and searched for the source of the sound. The snow stung my eyes as a squinted against it. All I could see was white. I strained against the swirling, blowing snow trying to see a pattern in it. All I saw was white; then I heard the scraping again amongst the roaring that the wind had become. I looked where I thought the sound had come from. I thought I could make out the building across the street.
I opened the gate and started walking toward where I had heard the sound. The wind was blowing so hard now that I was leaning into it. I shuffled my feet – being afraid that if I picked my foot up into the air I might be blown over. I kept walking until my foot hit something. I knelt down and I could make out a person on the ground.
I moved beside the body and found an arm. I pulled on the arm and got the person to stand up. I pulled the person back to the gate and then to the tower. It was easier walking back to the tower since the wind was to our backs. The person leaned heavily on me but I managed to hold the person up. We reached the door and I opened it – the wind blew us both through it. The person collapsed to the ground and I struggled to get the door closed.
The wind started blowing harder and snow started falling. I helped the stranger to the fire and added logs to it; then I went and made some tea. I found out that this stranger was a young woman who was visiting from out of town. As the storm grew stronger outside she told me of her adventures and thanked me for helping her.
When she warmed up, she fell asleep in front of the fire. I sat there and watched her for several hours while listening to the storm raging outside. I put some more logs on the fire and then I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew Master was gentling shaking my shoulder.
“Did you wait?” he asked.
“Yes Master, I did.”
“Good boy, go back to sleep.”
In the morning Master had me make breakfast for our visitor and him. After she ate she thanked me again and left – leaving me to wonder how Master had know that I had needed to wait, and if he had know what I had been waiting for. I’m glad that I listened to Master and waited. I’m also glad that I listened to my own heart and knew when it was time to stop waiting.