Fortunately, I only have to gaze at my kitchen window sill to see, and marvel, how it all works.
I’m talking about patience.
Just to be clear, I’m not thinking of the Christian definition, where the noun is classified as one of the seven heavenly virtues. In this particular circus, patience means forgiveness and mercy, as well as possessing the forbearance that comes from moderation. (For inquiring minds, the other six virtues are chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness
Rather, I’m thinking of the non-secular description in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Here, patience is “(Being) able to remain calm, and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time, or when dealing with problems or difficult people.” MW adds that the word also means “done in a careful way over a long period of time, without hurrying.”
I can use an extra dose of all of this right now, because my daily calendar has taken A Slight Swerve.
With a little push, but still on my own terms, I’ve made the choice to leave the part-time job I’ve had for a few years now. I haven’t been happy with it for a while; it’s also not my career, never has been, and never will be. Still, this work has provided a small but dependable paycheck, which is great for helping out with utility bills; paying for yoga classes, and buying the occasional pair of great earrings or cookbook.
I’m lucky in that I have a safety net: my Social Security is about to kick in, and it’s going to provide about the same amount of income, except this time, the checks will be tax free. (I remain dumbfounded that I’m of an age to qualify, but that’s another post for another time.)
However, as much as I love reading; watching movies, and vigorously participating in social media from my office laptop, I also know that I have another need—and that’s to be out in the world.
So, to that end, I’ve launched an errand-running business.
Being a California girl clown, I love to drive, and being pretty much the opposite of a hermit, I love to meet new people and socialize. It’s the perfect fit, and I even have experience: I once worked for a Hollywood-based messenger company run by the nephew of Don Costa, Frank Sinatra’s long-time musical arranger. (Of course, Sinatra was a client, as well as other performers and motion picture studios. And even though cell phones and Google maps were decades away, it proved to be a pretty fun gig for a college student.)
Toward making my new enterprise known, I’ve come up with a name—Roadrunner Girl—designed a flyer, and have had nearly 100 made so far, all in eye-catching chartreuse. I just ordered business cards, too; when they arrive, I’ll be handing them out, along with more flyers. And of course, there’s the requisite Facebook page, which now has more than 100 “likes.” (Here’s the link, at www.facebook.com/theroadrunnergirl/.)
Given that my price is right ($15 an hour), and that there’s a need, I know that eventually, calls will start coming in.
But while I’m waiting—in other words, while I’m trying very hard to be patient—there’s that window sill.
Here, I see two glass jelly jars filled with water; in each jar, an avocado seed is kept afloat by toothpicks. One has multiple roots and several leaves—I’ll be planting that in a red-brick colored pot soon. The other, which already boasted one root when I cut the avocado open, now has a few more white tendrils in the water, as well as that first tender branch, just popping up.
Like every other avocado seed I’ve nurtured over the years, getting these pits to root took time—a lot of time.
Indeed, the appearance of the first root can often take months. That’s not to say that there isn’t some sort of cellular miracle/activity going on within the seed; it’s just that it’s all invisible to the human eye. The appearance of the initial root, in fact, verifies that happy growing vibes have been taking place all along.
Once the seeds sprout about half a dozen leaves, I transfer them from their jelly jar homes into containers full of dark soil, where they’ll probably continue to grow. They’ll have company sitting next to the two other avocado plants I currently have on my hearth, one of which is about three feet high. So, while I’m not always particularly patient with my life, and its inevitable crooked paths, I can also see that having patience can lead to some beautiful plants.
Of course, sometimes for reasons unknown, the pits won’t grow at all.
Despite fresh water every day; the perfect diffused sunlight, and lots of other pampering, I will never get a new avocado plant. So it’s then, just like any new venture—including an errand-running business—that I make the decision to either move on, or give it another month or two.
Only time—which should go hand-in-hand with patience—will tell whether my new idea will be successful.
But until then, I have to remember the importance of properly preparing the seeds.
I’ll also know that no matter the outcome, I’ve done my very best.
How has patience helped, or hindered, you? I look forward to your comments!