The Wait, Patience, and Joy

journal serafina slowing down Sep 20, 2023

On May 6. 2022, I was on a ferry from Malta to Gozo. It was then I learned about the book All Four Engines Have Failed by Betty Tootell. A true story, that occured in 1982, of an aircraft flying over an erupted volcano.

I knew I had to have the book. Reading about the event online did not interest me as much. I wanted the story. 

I pulled out my mobile phone and was sure the book was only one click away. Little did I know it would take me one year and five months to hold it in my hands.

On that day, on the ferry, I clicked and clicked some more. I learnt that the book was out of print, but I found a version on a pre-loved book website. I ordered it. Delivery time: roughly 3 weeks. And so I waited. Excited.

I got home from my trip and waited some more. And then some more. And eventually I wrote to the company where I had ordered the book. Aparently it was sent. Unfortunately it never arrived. And there was no second copy to be sent.

Two months had already passed. I searched online again for the book. I found copies in New Zealand and other places that wanted exorbitant amounts of money. And so I let it go for a while.

Eventually, I took up the search again to no avail. I dreamt of reaching out to bookstores, but never did. And then some more months passed.

Something triggered another search. I found the book in the UK. Because of BREXIT, shipping cost as much as the book. I turned to a friend living in London who would be visiting Germany soon. And so I was finally able to order the book at a reasonable price.

It arrived in London. The friend came. She forgot the book. Then, another three months of waiting.

On September 14. 2023, I finally held the book in my hands. A big smile on my face. The journey had come to its end.


  •  It can be quite wonderful to not be able to get something right away and to have to search for a while. There is a great sense of satisfaction when a long process comes to a good end.
  •  More joy is derived when something obtained or achieved didn’t come easy.
  •  It is good to know that you can reach out to someone and to learn that they are willing to help.
  •  Patience can be an indulgence.
  •  This kind of experience helps slow down, which is great for the mind and body.

And in case you were wondering: I read the book within three days after receiving it. I loved it and look forward to rereading it in the future, and sharing it with my family.

Let me know if you are interested in a review: [email protected]


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