|Roll with it. Photo by kattebelletje|
Whenever you stop by she invites you in for a snack, and whenever you offer to help her make it (selfishly, so you can leave on time for your next appointment), she sweetly refuses.
“I’ve got it, dear. It will be just a minute.”
She gestures toward a kitchen chair and, reluctantly, you pull it out to sit. From that vantage point, with your foot tapping at a woodpecker’s pace, you watch the slowest snack in the world take shape. A sliced apple, first peeled; chunked cheddar; pepperoni sawed in pieces; cookies liberated from the jar on top of the fridge. Every kitchen implement is within arm’s reach, a mere tug or stretch away. Her extra-support sneakers squeak an erratic beat. She hums while she works.
|Snack time. Photo by mac.rj, Flickr|
There, with the late afternoon sun moving in a fuzzy patch across the linoleum, with the drowsy refrigerator snoring in the corner, with the nubs of the lopsided seat cushion burrowing into your skin, you breathe -- in, out, in, out -- until your rhythm joins the room’s, and you all exhale together, forgetful of the snack. The joy becomes the task itself, never mind the outcome.
At some point, she puts the plate in front of you. You don’t notice it appear or hear it clink. What you do see is Patience seated across from you (when did she sit?), hands folded, beaming. You smile back.
“It’s good to sit a minute,” you tell her. “I’m glad you came.”
She laughs, nudges the plate closer. “My dear, you came to me.”
“So I did!” And you, suddenly ravenous, reach for the cheese.
Prayer #274: “T.T.T.”
T. T. T.
Put up in a place
where it's easy to see
the cryptic admonishment
T. T. T.
When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it's well to remember that
Things Take Time!
I want all bad things over.
I want all good things now.
I want the bus without the stop.
The rest without the nap.
The chapter without the page.
The party without the prep.
Life, however, takes time. Uses it, in fact. Consumes it. Violently, forcefully, carefully, casually -- no matter the how, it sucks in the hours and spits them out dejuiced, putting them toward a recipe I’ve never followed.
So I can tap or stop my watch all I want, but maybe I should keep watch instead: Play the sous chef who relinquishes control. Prep only the ingredients that sit before me. Pray the results are edible.