Cullen Curtiss




Friday, June 10, 2005

lessons in patience

Historically, I have never been a patient person. Some blame it on growing up on the East Coast, others on spending 10-plus years in the San Francisco Bay Area. All I know is it's high time I learned how to be one, for my health and sanity, and that of others.

Living in a town that affectionately calls itself "the land of a manana" can encourage patience.

A friend of mine who was born and raised here says he's always late for one reason -- he was born and raised here. This characteristic of his is one that most people here seem to understand. We were invited to a co-workers house for dinner with another couple and apologized profusely when we arrived 10 minutes late. It wasn't until nearly hour later that the other couple showed up. They claimed that Tiger Woods was doing really well, but hadn't called to say that that would mean they'd be late. Our hosts took it all in stride, and so I did, too. I suppose it's all about expectations and so I've changed mine to get along -- when a business owner doesn't call me back after promising to, I just call someone else, and so on.

But I think my real lessons in patience are being learned every day as I tend to our garden. All of the seeds have germinated, remarkably, and have popped their heads out of the ground, but that's been 3 weeks in the making. I possibly have another 50 days to wait until they're good and ready to harvest. But I've learned it's not about the overwhelming number of days until they're completely grown and tasty -- it's about the every day, small changes that I have to sit in the dirt to observe.

My brother-in-law is a gardener, and as far as I can tell quite a good one at that. He's a bit of a wizard, actually. Tons of black plastic containers sit on sawhorses throughout his yard -- they're all seedlings labeled and awaiting their turn to go into the ground. He loaded us up last week with about 2 dozen individual plants and prescriptions for each one. Most will not show their true colors until next year and that did not alarm me. I've planted 8 of them. Since they're tiny and could be construed as weeds, I put small white rocks around each so I can keep track. I'm excited to nurture them every day in the mellow hope that they'll do well enough to bloom year after year.


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