Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 13: On the road: The gifts in the delay

January 24, 2010

I am a girl of action. I love to do, do, do. I love to-do lists and checklists and planners and goal setting. This leads to the true life-long learning process of my world. Patience and the Art of Being. Any other Doers out there who struggle with their ability to BE?

I remember the first time I consciously prayed for patience many, many years ago. The next week was filled with delays. I was stuck in traffic jams and long lines at the bank. I got it! Pray for patience and you actually have to practice it. It is not a gift that is given with a snap of the fingers. It is something that has to be experienced.

For my latest journey, why am I surprised about the many gifts in the weather delay of staying in Phoenix for 5 more days?

First gift was the time I had with my daughter, Liz. We set boundaries and created space in the apartment working through the initial stress by communicating more and finding ways to support each other. When Liz was gone all day, Hannah and I fed the dogs and took them for extra walks. I worked at the table and sat in the chair that is her usual workspace. On the day she was home all day working on schoolwork, I went to Border's with Hannah. I loved the Seattle's Best coffee, the great wireless connection and really comfy chairs. It was very cocoon-like. I started writing again and revising the book draft I worked on a year ago,loving the flow of ideas and words.

Liz and I had a few deep, thoughtful conversations. One day she made a delicious polenta and tempeh sandwich to share with us for breakfast. It was a mock "Egg McMuffin". A delicious dish that became the background for more discussions about food. She has made some remarkable, inspiring changes in her diet. I had questions for her which led to more connections. How do we eat consciously? How do I find healthy, ethical choices on the road? How do I nurture my body? How do I function in society when I am hungry and don't have healthier choices? We could have talked on the phone, but there is something about having the conversations while we cooked and ate a meal together.

Liz is a senior at Prescott College. Most of the classes are independent study and then a senior project. One day we went to Paradise Cafe together. She was revising and rechecking the requirements for her degree plan. I was clearing out my e-mail inbox. While I sat there, an e-mail arrived from the Omega Institute in New York. I asked if she had ever considered going to the Women's event in September. It would be a perfect fit for her degree and would tie in with her senior project. We talked about this for an hour weaving the details of a road trip she is taking with her grandmother, my mother, in the fall. The journey will be a part of her senior project. Two generations connecting and sharing on the road.

Gift #2 was the beginning of taking walks again. Every day there was an opportunity to walk and appreciate the landscape of cactus and Gambel's quail. The first time I saw a Gambel's quail, I felt like something magical had crossed my path. They are so beautiful, colorful and energetic. I breathed as I walked and let the ideas flow through me. I felt more connected to myself. There was time.

Gift #3 was the time to connect with my cats. We had time to settle in and cuddle and adjust to all of the travel and changes. I had the opportunity to watch them adjust to Liz's apt and the dogs and a new routine. I knew that they would be alright in the foster home.

Everyday something new appeared that helped me to enjoy the time and practice the art of patience.

I encourage you to look at where you are in your life right now Really take a look at the things you have wanted and by waiting or redirecting your course, you are surrounded by gifts.

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