Friday, April 05, 2019

Friday Ramble - Patience

As I started off on the Friday ramble this week, the word that came to mind was patience, although I have already written a ramble on that word.

This week's offering has its roots in the Middle English pacient, the Middle French patient and the Latin word pati, all meaning to undergo something, to suffer through, get through, or put up with something and do it with grace and dignity - no whining, screaming or going completely off one's nut. It's a fine old word for someone who aspires to authenticity or enlightenment, but it's not a word for wimps and sissies, and true patience is anything but limp, indecisive or docile. Sometimes, it requires bags of forbearance and not a little cussing.

By now, winter snows should have disappeared from the Lanark highlands, and the Two Hundred Acre Wood should be carpeted with northern wildflowers. Alas, recent storms brought subzero temperatures, snow and bitterly cold winds. There will be  no wildflowers in our forest for several weeks, and there are times when I think springtime will never come.

What is one to do??? I pick up my camera or paint brush, brew a pot of tea, pummel bread, stir up a fiery curry, go walkabout with Beau, curl up in my favorite chair with a good book. I just breathe, in and out, in and out, in and out.

For some reason, the elegant keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti (Mikhail Pletnev's recordings) and the Bach preludes (Glenn Gould) tuck everything back into place, and so does listening to Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik or Die Zauberflöte. Grieg's Holberg Suite work wonders too, and in recent weeks I have also been listening to the creations of Sibelius.
Snow or no snow, we head into the highlands and look at the sun rising or setting somewhere, watch frozen cattails rattling their bones along the shore of our favorite lake.  We listen to the wind in the bare trees, lean against the old rail fence and watch last autumn's desiccated leaves whirl through the air like confetti. We cling to the fragile hope that springtime will show up any day now.

I am learning that patience is a wild and fierce emotion, and that being patient with one's own self is the hardest thing of all.  Spirit Rock's Jack Kornfield says, “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”  I may get there one of these lifetimes, but I have a very long way to go.

This morning's image is a bloodroot bloom from last year's wanderings around this time. In early spring, the wildflowers emerge from the earth and dead leaves of my favorite place in the whole wide world, and they glow like little suns in the woods.  Colonies of sanguinaria canadensis are absolute perfection, and they leave me breathless when I encounter them. Spring is slow in arriving this year, and it will be weeks until the snow is gone, and I see them again.

1 comment:

M. E. Martinsen said...

Patience... Earth is tilting towards the sun... Spring will come.