Patience Revisited

My first children’s book, Wendel the Wind Turbine should be available soon. I am awaiting final proofs. I can imagine that like so many things since the pandemic, the process is running slower and with fewer hands. Once again, it is time to reinforce the process of patience in my life.

I became aware of my impatience as a young adult. I was excited about the future, my career as a Registered Nurse, all of the interests I pursued, traveling, getting married and starting a family. I would hear often that one should ideally live in the moment, but the future held so much in store that in the moment I needed to think and plan! I realize now that while thinking ahead and planning are very important, they are not what is meant by “living in the moment.”

Social media memes abound which emphasize that while people are snapping away selfies and photos and recording events on smartphones, they are missing out on actually participating in the moment itself. Decades and centuries ago, people would have marveled at such technology, but could it be that without it all, they participated more fully in the moments of their lives?

Yesterday before dusk my son and I had a nice drive together to accomplish an errand. He drove and we chatted. I instructed him in that loving, motherly-way of how to reduce speed more gradually when approaching red lights and cars braking ahead. Oh, he was patient with me!

Upon arriving home, we witnessed the most incredible evening sky. Oranges and pinks and lavender bounced down from a vast, low ceiling of clouds hovering just over our home. I did say it was too bad we couldn’t take a photo, and he fumbled with groceries and managed to get out his smartphone. I went inside immediately because that is what I do with groceries. But by the time I walked to the kitchen at the back of the house the carnival lights had dimmed to a dull purple. I thought it would last. I wish I’d stayed on the porch a bit longer, basking in the colors as long as they shone. The photo hastily taken did not match the spectacle. The light just could not be captured.

What has this to do with patience? I did nothing wrong in my auto-pilot of putting bags down in the kitchen, and yet a second or two more of enjoying the light would have been lovely. I will ponder this along with my efforts to live better in the moment. There is too much unrest in the world. By resting in the moment, experiencing what is good and beautiful as fully as we can, we become better versions of ourselves, with profound effects on those around us.

It takes patience to seek the beauty of the moment, it takes slowing down. When effective, the spirit, mind and body are calmed, and we experience peace and gratitude. Patience is indeed a fruit of the spirit.

Developing it in ourselves bears much needed fruit in the world.