Bird Droppings December 23, 24, and 25, 2010
It has been a few days and I am not used to having stayed off a computer for so long. An early morning trip to Florida and an early morning trip back along with getting ready for my grand daughters first Christmas Eve family gathering and welcome home took most of the last three days. Of course opening presents around the Christmas tree and taking hundreds of photos doesn’t help my pondering time. I did manage to get out this morning for the sunrise and sit and think meditate a bit before everyone else was up and moving however. It has been a hectic few days for me.
Watching children this time of year and even adults allows you to see various degrees of patience running rampant and or in a total lacking there of. A few days ago I was standing in line at a store where I knew the owner and she was helping a customer with a purchase without even thinking she asked me to help a customer, even though I was a customer as well. Trying to help a young man decide between a bearded dragon and a leopard gecko actually something I knew about as we keep both species. Patience is a virtue many people say they lay claim too yet we seem in life to avoid it when at all possible. We gear our existence to being done now as soon as possible ASAP as we use in internet abbreviations.
So how do we learn to be patient? How do we learn to wait? How do we learn to know when is right and when it is time simply to listen or watch? Often I have a tendency when concerned with myself to want to get on with things yet in dealing with others I can often allow life to jell to come together as it is intended. Perhaps it is in my experiences with dealing with people throughout my life. Although my mother and father were patient people perhaps there is a genetic component to patience. That would definitely make a good topic for a doctorial dissertation. But other times I see patience as an art form one that is perfected as we practice the art. I truly think it is one concept or behavior that is learned and literally acquired over time.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I go out each morning and watch the moon change from full to a smile over the days and to see the stars and wonder at the millions of years of distance between us and billions of years to come to where we are patience is an aspect of nature. I have often used river pebbles in discussion with each pebble as it started as a chip of rock somehow ending in the stream, tumbled and turned until the edges are smoothed and rounded eventually finding its way to your hand. It took time, effort and much patience. On my shelf at school is a wooden bowl containing several pieces of rounded wood? In Africa and in other rain forest areas some of the trees wood is so dense it sinks in the water and chips of wood tumble much like river pebbles and eventually you will find river wood chips rounded and smooth almost polished much like river pebbles. They tend to be an interesting conversation piece and one that comes up daily as students find my bowl of round wood pebbles.
I mentioned a young man in my droppings a few days ago. I met him several month’s ago. He is a high school student at a near by school and is autistic. An aspect of autism often is the ability to obsess over an object or a task and he will sit and do puzzles for hours his mother said often through the night till the puzzle is completed. During his life he has never spoken as he communicates with an Etch a sketch and or hand signs. His mother speaks in code at times using certain words having directions to them. Obsession however is not patience but almost on the opposite spectrum.
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” St. Augustine
There is thought in patience while in obsessing literally no thought and yet how do we tell them apart?
“How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?” Paul Sweeney
These are questions to answer to ponder this wonderful day as the snow falls for a white Christmas in Georgia. How do we learn patience and how do we teach patience?
“Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” Epictetus
I recall seeing a famous pear brandy with the pear in the bottle. You have to literally grow the fruit inside the bottle attaching to the flower as it grows and changes and the fruit itself grows in the bottle. Patience is a similar task starting as a bud and a flower and growing as we learn to except more and understand more. There is a correlation to thinking and patience or wisdom as St. Augustine states and in that perhaps the difference between patience and obsession. A bright mark as the lead news headline states “the president has continued to emphasize a reduction in troops in Afghanistan” perhaps there is peace if we are patient. However for now on this holiday for so many people please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.