Archive for the ‘patience’ Category

I haven’t written here in over a year, and yesterday I saw this quote and immediately understood it was the reason I have been stuck. I tend to be too much in my head and over-analyze almost anything.  It won’t be easy, though, because I have to re-learn how to listen to my heart.  I made some bad decisions in my life, so I began not to trust my heart.
Another insight I have had lately is that faith is a journey, not a destination. It is ongoing and seems to change with the current frame of mind. I still envy my friends with unshakeable faith, but I also see that faith leads to a blindness to the excesses and transgressions of the church. I won’t say any more about that because it’s not my role to judge.


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“If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred.  Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self.  There is no place to hide and so we are found.” –Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

I wrote this on June 4th:  “It’s such a cool morning, it’s hard to believe it will be so beastly hot this afternoon.  It’s the kind of morning that’s the start of an excellent road trip, full of possibilities and discoveries.  What a shame to be stuck in an office where the most exciting thing that can happen is likely some misfortune, like someone falling down the stairs again.”

Those cool mornings didn’t last.

This is the time of year I think about the British rulers of India, who always sent their women to the mountains in the summer.  June is my least favorite month. Like India, we have monsoon rains, and the deadly heat is necessary to set up the monsoon season.  But the intense heat seems like a heavy price to pay for the rain and the mild winter.  Of course, I complain about the cold in the winter, too.  We don’t have short-sleeved winter days anymore like in the seventies when my parents moved here.

I have never done well in heat, even when I was young.  I get nauseous when I’m hot, my face gets all red, and it drains me of energy.  You can always put more clothes on when it’s cold, but there’s only so much you can take off, in public anyway.  It’s like the Wisconsin winter.  I just want to hibernate/stay in my house.

It was always my intention to move to California.  The almost-perfect weather is surely the main reason so many people live there.   But I realized I could never afford it without roommates, and I did not want to live like that.

But Arizona has not felt like home since my father died, perhaps even before that when my mother did.

I bought a book of essays and poems by southwestern women writers, thinking that it might re-kindle my appreciation of the desert.  It did the opposite.  It made me realize anew how deadly it can be.

There are devil winds that spin the sand into dirt walls that cause pileups on the highway. There is scorching dry heat that can suck the life out of you if you’re not prepared or you get lost.  A couple of weeks ago two young women died while hiking in the Tucson mountains in separate incidents.

The monsoon can be dangerous, too, with sudden, blinding walls of water that can wash away trees and boulders.  But when you’re home on a Saturday afternoon and don’t have to go anywhere and the first rain you’ve seen in months comes pouring down and the thunder and lightning isn’t too close, it can be glorious.  And the sunset can be, too.

Monsoon Sunset

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My roommate used to play a song called “Going In Circles” all the time.  The day she broke up with her boyfriend she called her ex-boyfriend.  Whenever I feel in the pattern of being stuck, I think of her and that song.  Or of the Springstein song that says, “One step forward, two steps back.”

It seems whenever I have made some progress in my spiritual or soul journey, something happens that triggers the old doubts and fears, and I feel like I’ve gone backward.  I don’t even know what the trigger was, but I’ve felt this way for a while now.  I think I know part of what’s blocking me, but I’m unsure what to do about it.

This morning it was good to see the trees in the park are starting to show a bit of green.  I saw a tiny hummingbird, a symbol of joy.  I’m hoping that the promise of rebirth in spring will spark a shift in my attitude.  I’ve been calling myself “Grumpy Grulla”, the name of an old lead mare that was captured in the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Area.

“Expect to have hope rekindled.  Expect your prayers to be answered in wonderous ways.  The dry seasons in life do not last.  The spring rains will come again.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach
Except we’ll be waiting until July for our rains.  A long, dry, dusty wait.

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“Ask of the beasts and they will teach you the beauty of this earth.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

This morning on our weekly walk we saw a little girl and her mother we have seen at least twice before.  They remembered us, too.  The little girl told her mother she loved puppies and kittens, too.  Then she said she loved animals.  She told her mother there was a show on Nickleodean that showed all the dogs and cats who didn’t have homes.

Her mother told her some people couldn’t have dogs or cats because they lived in an apartment or couldn’t afford them.  I wondered if that was true in their case, which made me sad.  But it was good to hear children’s programming isn’t all noise and flash.

Although I usually prefer solitude on our walks, Cubbie is the opposite.  He has taught me to be more open to people because he loves everyone, especially children.

 A few weeks ago an elderly couple came walking toward us, and the man’s eyes lit up when he saw Cubbie.  He came over to pet him.  His wife, who walked with a cane, was reluctant but petted him also.  Cubbie was so gentle, as if he sensed he needed to be.

I  also think he was brought into my life to teach me patience (I wasn’t looking for another dog at the time).  That is something I have been trying to learn my whole life.  Nature is a great teacher of patience, too.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.”  Job 12:7-8

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