Patience. The ‘Woman Who Lives in My Head’ has none.
Together, we watched breathlessly as the flower spike on my Cattleya orchid slowly emerged from its curled leaf cocoon and reached for the sun.
Over several weeks it grew to 40 centimetres, the longest flower spike I’ve ever had on this particular plant. Gradually the tip swelled into buds, whose outer casings turned soft translucent pink.
Patience, patience, I implore The Woman Who Lives in My Head. No matter how many times a day we examine it, the progress can only be described as glacial.
But patience and time are uneasy bedfellows.
Time is not linear, nor is it fixed. Rather, it bends and stretches like a rubber band. The concept of time changed when Einstein put forward his theory of relativity. I won’t pretend to be across his theory but simply wish to illustrate with the notion of the watched kettle – or – the developing Cattleya bud.
Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.Anonymous
The lesson for me is, no matter how much we might wish it otherwise, Nature marches to her own drum-beat. We can accept it and bask in the miracles, or we can rail against the natural order of things, trying to hurry it up, to no avail.
As soon as I took this on board, my perspective shifted. Before, I felt as though I was in limbo, forever waiting. Waiting to take another breathe, putting everything on hold while waiting for an end result, instead of enjoying (while living) the process.
I had a shift in perspective. I hear the Woman Living in My Head snigger, as if she’s always known this. Some truths are deeply known but not necessarily observed on a conscious level.
So, having been in self-isolation for weeks now (who’s counting?), I realise while I’ve been waiting for things to bloom, or waiting for them to come to an end, depending on whether it’s my orchid buds or COVID19 isolation, I’m missing out. I’m ‘waiting’ my life away, not truly living my life; merely skating over life’s surface with my eyes firmly fixed on some distant and unknowable horizon, missing all the little miracles along the way.
We are all living what will be a momentous history for future generations. I would like to think we are on the cusp of huge positive change, a vast global re-framing of perspective. But I’d settle for small positive change as long as it signalled a growing trend into the future.
In the meantime, I resolve to give up waiting and opt for living, appreciating and being grateful instead.