The Value of Waiting

I’ll admit it–I’m impatient. Not as much as I used to be, but still more than is necessary. The last time I was discussing a problem I wanted to resolve, my root+n+sproutcoach suggested just letting it be for a while. For a Myers-Briggs “J” –the one who checks things off a list, who is always working toward a goal, who makes decisions and even if they are wrong, who cares, it’s better than not doing anything–well, letting a problem stew didn’t seem like a good solution.

My coach, wise woman that she is, said–“think of the solution as a seedling. It’s just broken out of the ground and is searching for some light. If you come along and pull it out to get a closer look, then stick it in the ground, then do that every day, the seedling won’t survive.”

She made me laugh the kind of laugh that let’s me know I’m delighted in my own mis-steps. I could see myself uprooting the seedling every day to see how it was growing. And how quickly fatal that would be. Some things do better when left to grow roots and shoots.

The story reminded me of another gardening metaphor on patience. Sweet corn Zea_mays_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-283takes about 75 days to go from seed to picking an ear. Yelling at it to hurry up has no effect on the length of time. It doesn’t make the corn sweeter, either.

Some problems, some answers just need time to ripen. Even if we want answers and solutions right now. Knowing when to turn things over, as another wise woman I know says, “to the operating system of the universe,” is good wisdom.

-Quinn McDonald is a gardener at heart. She is learning to be a gardener of the heart.

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9 thoughts on “The Value of Waiting

  1. Thinking about the operating system of the universe, it’s fascinating that a dominating technologies of an age don’t just shape the machines of the time but the metaphors too. Newton described the universe in terms of a clockwork mechanism. Freud conceptualized the mind as a steam engine (the id is the boiler, superego is the flywheel governor, etc). I wonder how far this would hold up if you were to really research it. Hmmm…did any good nuclear metaphors come out of the 20th century?

    It’s going to be a pretty good collision if quantum computing ever gets useful enough to start generating metaphors. After all, physics borrowed the word “quark” from literature (Finnegan’s Wake).

  2. Oh so apt as ever,I am stewing today,getting in a right old pickle!
    Relating to digging up the plant roots was a perfect way of getting over it,I actually laughed too…at my own impatience ,stupidity and how much positive energy is wasted on negative thinking about something of which I have no control. So I am going to get on with the day in a much better frame of mind….and if there were not 90mph winds outside and an amber weather warning I would indeed go and do some gardening!! Heheheheh…x

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