Tuesday’s Word: patience

Patience (n):  (1) the capacity to accept or tolerate delay,
trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset; (2) the
capacity, habit, or fact of being patient.

Patient (adj): (1) able to remain calm and not become
annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with
problems or difficult people; (2) done in a careful way over
a long period of time without hurrying

Patience is not, as many seem to believe, simply resignation, not an attitude of putting up with one’s circumstances because there’s no choice anyway.  That way lies despair.

Patience, I believe, is composed of elements of faith, trust, and hope.  It is founded on an understanding that Someone greater than myself is responsible for my life, that He is aware of my situation and walks through it with me, and that He is bringing me in His best timing to the place I truly belong.

‘Patience is not acquiescence, or perpetual placidity…
Patience must be rooted in an overarching confidence that
there is Someone in control of this universe, our world, and
our life…A patient person knows the shortness of time and
the length of eternity.’ ~ Lloyd John Ogilvie

What stood will stand by Wendell Berry

photo by Rebekah Choat

photo by Rebekah Choat

What stood will stand, though all be fallen,
The good return that time has stolen.
Though creatures groan in misery,
Their flesh prefigures liberty
To end travail and bring to birth
Their new perfection in new earth.
At word of that enlivening
Let the trees of the woods all sing
And every field rejoice, let praise
Rise up out of the ground like grass.
What stood, whole in every piecemeal
Thing that stood, will stand though all
Fall — field and woods and all in them
Rejoin the primal Sabbath’s hymn.

~ Wendell Berry

I go among trees and sit still

trees on path to neuschwanstein

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it.  As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.

~ Wendell Berry

Outdoor Communion

image courtesy stock.xchng

image courtesy stock.xchng

The Branch Delicate
E.B. White, Trees of Winter

Oh, they are lovely trees that wait
In the still hall of winter,
Silent and good where the Good Planter
Fixed the root, wove the branch delicate.

Friendly the birches in the thin light
By the frost sanctified,
And here, too, silent by their side,
I stand in the woods listening, upright,

Hearing in the cold of the long pause
Of the full year
What trees intend that I should hear:
Interpretations of old laws…

Hearing the faint, the chickadee cry
Of root that molders,
Of branch bent, and leaf that withers
And little brown seed that does not die.

The cadence of this poem transports me to a great open-roofed cathedral, in which the trees are the pillars and the Planter the unseen celebrant.  I stand under the bare, arching branches, the only human for miles, wrapped in a solitude dense with an almost-tangible Presence.

 It is good to be here, just to breathe, just to be.   All shall be well.  It is good to know that this is the place ordained for me to be, for a season.  All shall be well.  It is good to commune with the trees in this vast stillness, to partake in the mystery of the falling leaf and the moldering root and the seed biding its time.  All manner of thing shall be well.

This piece was originally posted on http://www.allninemuses.wordpress.com, the lovely blog of a lovely lady, Kelly Belmonte, without whose encouragement I would not be where I am today.