Nature, Time and Patience


“Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.” This is what the fortune inside my last cookie from Lang Van restaurant read this week. 

Nature. Nature is always at the ready to enchant or help me in some way, from the small wonder of a tiny wildflower that catches my eye, to the amazing symmetry of the seeds lining a strawberry or a breath taking cloud being lit up by the sun as it sets. A reminder that love is abundant and everywhere, this message is communicated through leaves and dogwood petals shaped like hearts. The sense that I am never alone, a feeling I know when I take the time to slow down and connect to all that is alive around me. And there is a lot that is alive. There are fellow creatures to move and delight me:  lighting bugs (why is everyone not sitting outside with me on any given summer night, noticing and watching these magical beings blinking off and on as they float from the ground up to the trees?), butterflies, bunnies eating clover in a field, birds chirping to one another and hopping about, the greeting and affection of a pet. I could go on and on, and I will in future posts under this tab.

The older I get, the more I am aware of what a precious commodity time is, the second of the three physicians mentioned. To be completely in this present moment is a novel (or blog) unto itself. Time is a limited resource but also given equally to all. It matters how I “spend” my time because, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “Forever is composed of nows.”  I personally struggle with being punctual. I want there to be 65 minutes in an hour. Who can I petition to change this? I excuse being five minutes late because I grew up in Latin America, where being a little late is the norm and expected. Never mind that it’s been 35 years since I lived overseas and, no, I am not in Latin America anymore now, am I? And I know this bad habit is rooted in some deep unconscious muck that I keep digging at but have not been entirely successful in weeding out. I have made progress, but I’m not fully committed and I know it. I do appreciate that as I learn to value myself and understand my worth, there is an equally newfound ability to be on (or is it in?) time. I can’t talk about being early, the true solution to this little dilemma. That terrifies me. Baby steps.

Learning to allow time for things to unfold and develop brings me to the third concept in my good fortune, patience. I looked this word up in a dictionary a long time ago and the definition I read stuck with me:  the power to wait calmly. To understand patience as power does make me more willing and able to, in fact, wait calmly. I have repeated this very definition to many a client, who, like me, struggles with being patient. In the speaking of this truth over and over, I have been able to shift away from resistance to being a little more open and willing each time I say it.   

May I be mindful of these three midwives and consult, use and cooperate with each of them a little more every day.