Patience and Resilience

Snow is falling on the garden bed where I spotted three tiny spears of asparagus beginning to emerge from the soil just yesterday. It isn’t sticking but it has been snowing since I woke up hours ago. I am thinking of all of the buds that are about to burst — the tight round clusters of the asian pear, the long rolled spears of the beech leaves, and the partially unrolled fiddleheads. White wildflowers and purple violets dot the field and the frog eggs in the pond have matured to tadpoles. I have been watching spring arrive for weeks. I cling to the signs of emergence as signs of growth and possibility. Now I am watching it snow. I can’t help feeling a bit deflated but, in Maine, this is spring too. It reminds me not to cling so tightly. Spring arrives on its own. The unfolding of the season like the unfolding of each individual life, including my own, has its own timeline.

I have been trying to be patient with my body’s inclination towards rest these last few weeks. My leaning toward sleep and away from productivity is not just counter-cultural, it is counter to my own urge to connect with and participate in the flow of the world around me. Yet it is what I need. Sleeping in, I am missing more than the morning stillness. Waking up later in the morning means I miss the time to reflect and write. Missing that time means I have grown full to overflowing with unresolved thoughts and feelings. I recognize myself in the tightly rolled beech leaves and the tight balls of blossoms-to-be on the fruit trees. I recognized myself in the full moon that I watched rise on Thursday night.

Today, as the moon wanes and the spring growth slows or pauses, I too feel released from some of the pressure to move beyond this stage of nesting and resting that I feel. I know this period of rest is not fallow. Renewal and reemergence will come in due time. Until then, I can remain curious about what will arrive and grow more patient and more resilient with each day of unknowing.

I am not alone. Most individuals, organizations and governments are leaning into resilience as they navigate the uncertainties of this time. I recently wrote that, at Renewal in the Wilderness, “we are moving slowly. There is no need to rush to plan, forecast or band-aid. We need, first, to lean into our mission, living it for ourselves, our families and our wider community. We have reaffirmed our sense of purpose, our ability to adapt, and our capacity to sit in the unknowns. We grow ever more resilient as we exercise both our strength and our flexibility with intention. It may not always be easy but, when it is what we are called towards, it is always right.”

May we face the current concerns with resilience born of flexibility, patience and bravery.

May we welcome the coming challenges with resilience born of generosity and receptivity.

May we show up to each moment with an open mind and an open heart.

May we be safe.

May we be well.

May we be at peace.

Last month, I wrote a series of articles on this topic for the Resilience Initiative. You can read them here.

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