I grew up with my grandma in a house with a big garden. And most of my lessons, school and life I learnt here.
When I was about 5-6 yrs old, I wanted something.. new bag or compass box..I can’t remember (interesting) .. I would keep pestering her several times a day…for the answer for – “when will I get it”?.
So, one day she brought a small flower pot with soil, and in front of me planted some seeds, inserted a 12” wooden ruler(some of you may still remember that) and handed it to me saying, this was now my plant to look after and take care. And as to my question “When will I get it” – the answer was when the plant grew to touch the end of the ruler.
And So with that…I started my journey of nurturing and patience.
Needless to say… I learnt a lot from the 20 days that followed…
Two lesson still stay with me…
Measurement is not the same as Meaning :
The plant, for the first few days grew ..’inline’ with the ruler, and I happily predicted my new bag arrival…. But I was wrong.. The plant followed its own path…not one of the ruler… it “Grew” but it had still not reached my mark…and I could not control it.
I realized we create measures to give meaning to experiences, like the 12 months in the calendar or time or age, or naming a bunch of stars as constellations. So that we can predict, have some sense of control in some ways.
But the nature of Nature is that it refuses to be measured and controlled. And in that, perhaps, lies its potential for growth and abundance. (and in understanding this perhaps lies our respect for her power)
First measure creates meaning and then Meaning creates the measure, and we probably get stuck in the measure and forget to values the moments that take our breath away in worrying about the time going by or look and marvel at the millions of other stars in the sky and experience awe, instead of just predicting what the stars are saying.
Tolerance and Patience are two different things:
For the first couple of days, of me “watching over” the plant constantly and not seeing anything..I used to get frustrated…and sit ..feeling edgy, and get upset. And keep asking (to no one one in particular) … when will it grow – when will it grow
At some point in that sitting with my plant… the waiting changed on the inside (as I realized I didn’t really have any control, maybe) . I stopped being edgy and upset and just …..waited..
Waiting has two modes – Tolerance and Patience
Tolerating is waiting for things to Close
Patience is waiting for things to Open
Years later, in my role as a mother, coach, friend, partner – I still catch myself asking the same question .. “When will I/ he-she/ It Grow”
I still sometimes catch myself on the edge, holding my breath, tapping my pen..or foot
and I know I am tolerating … I can feel myself contracted
And then I remember my plant and my waiting journey
Then I take a deep breath and shift on the inside and move to being patient..
And wait for things to open and Grow !!!!!
Feel grateful to my grandma