Patience is in everything we surround ourselves with. Everything. And when you begin to look for it, you will see it.
I nipped into a coffee shop today before work. I was in a hurry and the queue I found upon my arrival set off aa kind of rage in me that makes me worry that I’m going to burst into flame. I finally got to the counter and made my order (never noticing the patience my server showed when absorbing all of my dietary requirements). I drummed my fingers and waited, making sure my order was in its rightful place in the queue.
To distract myself, I looked around at the posters on the wall. One described the process of planting and growing coffee beans, one the process of harvesting and packing them, and one the process of transporting them from over 15,000km away to this café.
The less conscious, more irrationally punctual side of me wanted to dwell on the barista’s slightly slow coffee making methods, but the learning, conscious, loving side of me couldn’t help but see the irony. Each of the tiny coffee beans which were crushed for my short-lived pleasure had put more time and energy into becoming my cup of coffee than I have put into my whole adult life.
The coffee beans weren’t sentient, and yet they contained a deeper sense of patience than I had ever practiced. As I left the café, I was instantly bombarded with examples of patience everywhere I looked. The hair on people’s heads, the buildings around me, the words people spoke, the businesses, the careers people had. None of them had come about overnight. I stopped by a tree and noticed with awe, its lack of complaint as it patiently stretched and grew for decades, across generations of people, all running through the city to their next meeting, hurrying, busying, always trying to beat the clock, and forgetting that everything that is worth anything in this life takes time to cultivate.
As we let grass take the time it needs to grow, as we allow a storm all the time it needs to pass us, as we celebrate friends who have achieved something, no matter how long it took them, so can we allow ourselves the time we need in our lives. With nothing forced, and total acceptance, we can give ourselves the gift of patience we so often and unconsciously award to the world around us.
We’re taking patience into CoLiberate this week – come along to the new Reflective Writing session this Thursday 5.30 – 6.30.