Friday, April 07, 2023

Friday Ramble - Patience

This week's offering has its roots in the Middle English pacient, the Middle French patient and the Latin word pati, all having to do with getting through or putting up with something and doing 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 and enlightenment, but it's not a word for wimps and sissies. True patience is anything but limp, indecisive or docile. At times, 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 for several weeks, and there are times when I think springtime will never come.

What is one to do??? I pick up a camera or notebook, brew a pot of tea, pummel bread, stir up a fire-breathing 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.

When it comes to music, the elegant keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti (Mikhail Pletnev), the Bach preludes (Glenn Gould) and cello suites (Yo-yo Ma) tuck everything back into place, and so do Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music) and Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). Anything by Antonio Vivaldi (The Four Seasons) works wonders, and Respighi does it for me every time.

We watch the sun rising every morning, the moon conversing with the stars at night. When weather permits, we shiver on the bank of our favorite river and listen to frozen cattails rattling their bones in the wind - the same wind blusters though the bare trees nearby. We lean on the old rail fence and watch last year's leaves whirl through the air like confetti. We cling to the fragile hope that springtime will show up any day now.

Patience is a wild and fierce emotion, and being patient with one's own self is the hardest thing of all. I may get there one of these lifetimes, but I have a very long way to go.


Gill said...


Debbie Grace said...

My dearest Cate,

I read this one today and it was exactly the medicine and reassurance I needed.

Waiting as patiently as I can, right here beside you.

Love you,
Debbie Grace
who is still trustin'