Wednesday, January 7, 2009

By the by, I loved the comments about loving harder. It's really a beautiful thing, isn't it?

Today, driving down an icy hill into my market-town of Northampton, on the way to take the cat to the vet, I had a thought or two on patience. On this particular hill, there are more lanes of traffic than there should be in a small New England town (we are not used to more than 2 lanes here), and the traffic lights and turn heres and no turn on reds at the bottom of the hill make the lane-changes and traffic stops more frequent at this particular intersection. It is, to sum up, the kind of intersection that finds many a person, particularly the locals who actually do know precisely which lane they want or need to be in, allowing their hands to fly off the wheel, recklessly slamming into the ceiling and back onto the wheel with a chorus of profanities to accompany the physical action. Sometimes, the outburst is hard to prevent when you see the line that you need to follow across the dotted lines to the lane you need, and some pokey car from Connecticut isn't sure where to be and prevents you from making the pass so that you can make your green portion of the otherwise five minute light.
So today, quite mellowed from a thirty minute jaunt on an artificial exercise machine (I will post about my thoughts on this later, I promise you, for I have many), and listening quietly to some piano music on the radio while the kitten mewed piteously from the passenger seat, I found myself in precisely this scenario, whereby I was blocked and could not go while the light changed from red, to green, to yellow, and finally back to red just as I had negotiated myself through the throng of confused automobiles in my path. I felt the knot of tension, the annoyance that I could not go, even though while looking at the clock I could see that I would not be late.
And I thought these words, Patience is a choice.
I breathed deeply, and suddenly it was all gone, and I saw it for what it was, some time alone in my car, the heat blowing on my relaxed muscles, an opportunity to people-watch and see the many people crossing at the crosswalk in front of my car, a chance to listen to some quiet music and think about what I felt like thinking about without interruption. This was not a problem.
This is how patience works for me, now, and I have written about this before. After the paramount act of patience and trust that grew and dragged me out of the depths of my prison of grief, commonplace patience in traffic situations, grocery store lines, and the like comes so easily to me, I nearly don't have to think of it at all. It delights me, almost, to be nearly completely free of this stress.
The next step, of course, would be to become so automatically patient with a four year old temper tantrum (so much more difficult to be patient with, what with the relative brilliance and maturity of the four year old over his much more immature and illogical two-year-old counterpart) and with the occasional bickering and I will feel so utterly fulfilled, but perhaps with practice this, too, will come in time.

All is good, though. The sleet and snow pour down and the yard is wet and messy and cold, but the house is warm and my new cookbooks are bringing amazing new meals to our table. The children never cease to amaze me. My bed is high, and soft, and warm. There is much to be happy for.

Tonight as I was bringing Liam up to bed, Greg said, I had a wonderful day with you, Liam. I feel very blessed.
What's blessed? Liam asked.
How could I answer that? It is you, my dear, it is gratitude, it is us being bowled over every single day by your very existence, and by your sisters', and just feeling grateful and glad for every moment we have together. It is what we feel every day.
We are blessed.

1 comment:

Hope's Mama said...

I'm trying to learn from you as best I can Carol. I really am trying to be patient, I promise. It is so hard though. And yes, Liam is a wonderful blessing.