Always striving... be one step closer to heaven.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why is waiting so hard?

Patience is the art of concealing your impatience. Guy Kawasaki 

The little guy in the picture is our neighborhood dog teaser. He has a regular routine…most mornings he scampers across our back fence on his way to wherever it is he goes to forage for his food. Boomer, our jack russell, will never give up the opportunity to chase him up into the neighbor’s tree that hangs over into our yard. One day last fall, I absolutely could not get Boomer to come back into the house so I decided to have a peek at what was keeping Boomer’s attention so well.

Most critters will run when humans enter the picture, but not this guy. He was in it for the long haul. He had stretched out on a branch waiting for me to entice Boomer back into the house so he could continue on with his day. I watched him for a few minutes and then decided to get my camera. He hadn’t moved so I snapped away for several minutes. I eventually got bored with shooting pictures of him…he wasn’t doing anything but just sitting there…and I was even finally able to entice Boomer back into the house. I don’t know what 30 minutes of human time equates to in squirrel time, but I’m sure this little guy was glad to finally be moving on with his day once Boomer and I finally went into the house.

I’d like to think there are plenty of people out there who assign human thought, emotion, and motive to our friends in the animal kingdom. I know that animals don’t think like we humans do, but I cannot help but wonder what was going through his little squirrel brain. Did he make a conscious decision to wait us out or was it simply the instinct to survive? Was he really being patient or just feeling secure because he was so high in the tree? Was he angry with us because we had interrupted his routine and now his tummy was growling because he knew there were nuts waiting on him?

I’d like to think that he knew eventually I would lure Boomer back into the house. He knew that eventually he would be able to go on with his day doing whatever it is that squirrels do all day.  Whatever was going through his mind, he did demonstrate the human trait of patience. Patience is something I struggle with, as I assume most people do. Eknath Easwaran, a famous spiritual leader, once said, “Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.”

Gaining patience and exhibiting that same patience can be a vicious cycle…it takes patience to learn patience. What a conundrum, right? I want to be patient with where I am in life right now, but that is SO hard. They say that “good things come to those that wait,” but I’d at least like a hint. Then maybe the waiting wouldn’t be so bad.

Remember my squirrel?  It wasn’t until days later when processing the photo that I realized he had sat there the whole time with a nut in his mouth. I’m sure that nut had come from a tree he had eaten from often. He must have been OK with the waiting because he had that plump nut in his mouth…he had to know that nut was going to taste good and satisfy his hunger. That’s what I want…some inkling of what is to come so that I can be OK in the waiting. It’s the not knowing that makes the wait so hard.

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