Monday, November 14, 2011

Patience may be a virtue, but it isn't one of mine.

Saturday I drove to Kokomo, Indiana for a luncheon. The trip was approximately 130 miles one way, and the drive took just under three hours. Almost half of it was along two-lane highways posted at 55 mph and punctuated by small towns with even lower speed limits.

On the way there, my GPS took me a round-about way. Since I was constantly watching for the next turn, I didn't have a chance to get bored.

For the return trip, I looked at the old-fashioned paper map and selected my own route, which was more direct and probably quicker. But it was also quite monotonous as I passed miles and miles of brown fields and an occasional bare tree. I just wanted to reach the expressway so I could get home faster.

That isn't a criticism of rural living. I grew up in a small country town, and I enjoyed those years. But after living in the Chicago area for several decades, I've gotten used to more varied scenery.

And I've forgotten that Midwestern farms have a different type of variety. The straw-colored fields I passed Saturday will turn snow-white in winter, dirt-brown in early spring, and green or golden in late spring and summer. The sleeping fields of November are renewing themselves so they can be productive again next year. Land that never gets a chance to rest soon becomes depleted of the minerals that plants require to thrive. So every season has a role in producing a bountiful harvest. We just can't see the part of the process that happens underground.

Life is like that, too. When I am in the brown areas of my life, I find it hard to picture any yield at all, let alone a bumper crop. Yet it is during those brown times that I am revived. Unfortunately, I don't always realize that until I have a chance to look back.

That's why patience is a virtue.

No comments:

Post a Comment