Learning Patience From The Woods


The Sheep on the hill where the branches were

For the first time in a couple of years the branches from the Maple that fell are no longer in a pile on the hill in the barnyard.

I burned most of them in my Birthday Bonfire.  The few that are left I’ll use in our Spring Equinox bonfire.

Now there are only a few small sticks were the tree limbs used to lay.  In the past I would have been in a hurry to clear the branches from the barnyard.  But I’m learning patience when it come to getting things done.

I could spend all day every day fixing and cleaning  things up around the house and farm.

But then, of course, I’d never get my work done.  And I need to work, not only because it’s how I earn a living, but when I don’t create I’m not fulfilled or happy in my life.

So I choose to let some things lay where they are for days, weeks, months and even years at a time.

Cutting and stacking those branches when they first fell would have been a lot of work.  Over the past couple of years, the sheep and donkeys ate all the bark off of them.  They are so dry they easily snapped in two and burned hot on the fire.

Now when I look at the paint peeling on the farm house, the dried mud from our boots on the kitchen floor, the cracked glass in the old windows, I bristle for a moment then walk away.  I leave it for another hour, another day.

Walking in the same woods regularly and noticing the changes that occur from one day to the next has gotten me used to the idea of things not staying the same. I hardly expect it anymore although I’m still often thrown off for a while when it happens.

In the woods, those changes that come with a strong wind, heavy snow, lots of rain or none at all,  are quickly incorporated into their surroundings.  Water fills the impression made by the upturned tree roots and soon insects and frogs live there.  The leaves on fallen trees still sprout bringing the sky to the ground.

And in time, with patience, death always brings new life.

Am I procrastinating or waiting for the right moment?  Maybe I have just learned to trust my own instincts to know when something needs to be done and when it can wait.

6 thoughts on “Learning Patience From The Woods

  1. I think I am finally learning that it is ok not to be busy “doing work” all the time. Resting is a respectable and necessary part of my day also. I don’t have to feel lazy; instead it should be replenishment.

    1. For Sure Sandy. I learned in my yoga class that doing all that yoga was really about getting us to be able to lay still for even five minutes. it’s so hard to do especially when we were taught it was somehow wrong or bad to do. And I like your idea of trading words, Replenishment for lazy.

  2. And what a blessing trusting our instincts is! Being able to walk away and let something wait is a gift. It pulls us off of the hamster wheel and allows us to breathe and calm ourselves. The hamster wheel life produces stress and discord in our being, breathing, walking, or just sitting for a moment and enjoying our surroundings brings feelings of contentment and peace. In that peaceful place we can figure out what comes next. Thank you for a beautiful post!

  3. Hi Maria. I am a fan of your writings. You are so honest about your feelings and have such wonderful insights. I especially love this post because it brought up what I have been trying to “fix” in my own life for a very long time. I was brought up with the idea that “Work/chores come before pleasure”, “If you see something that needs to be done, do it now rather than later or you will become a lazy adult” and the one said to me all the time, “If there’s time to read, then there is still work to do”. I recently turned 68 and decided that it was time to finally ditch my past way of thinking and allow my Creative Self to shine! Kudos to you, Maria, for showing us through your writings that creativity is a very important part of life!

    1. I know those saying that stick in our heads, I have my own, some similar to yours.(That one about reading, is a killer!) Realizing they’re not really ours but someone else’s is the first step I think. I love what you are doing letting your creative self shine! Good for you Barbara!

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