Patience is a virtue. If you want to garden, it’s a requirement. I’m sure those who know me well are saying: “She doesn’t have a patient gene in her body.” And they’d be right. I can fake patience. I’m skilled at that. But it’s not really part of my DNA. This is an inherited trait—both the actual patience and the faked patience. My father is a spur-of-the-moment guy. If he had a car, which he doesn’t because he’s 92 and shouldn’t be endangering the lives of small children walking home from school or frail grandmothers walking to the bus (because they don’t drive anymore either), he would go off to Peet’s or the library or the church or Radio Shack or Border’s or Java City--all in a New York minute. In his case, that minute is the point at which the thought enters his mind—and not a second later. But now he has to wait until someone close to him with a valid driver’s license can take him. So he pretends it wasn’t all that important in the first place. “No, don’t go to any trouble,” says Dad. This is the pretending part. What he really wants to do is walk out the front door, put the key in the ignition, put the clutch in, ease the gear into first, and burn rubber. Well, I’m exaggerating about the rubber part. He’s a retired minister and has a reputation to protect. And ministers are supposed to have the patience of Job—even Unitarian Universalist ministers.
So to my real point here.
Tomorrow, soil will be arriving to fill my raised bed garden box. We’re late, I know. It should have been planted weeks ago. But my pace is often dictated by others’ pace—others upon whom I depend to help me out. They’re willing, but not always timely. Well, sort of willing. . . This is an example of my skill at faked patience.
We’ve bought several plants—tomato (a few varieties), snap peas, lemon cucumber, and red bell pepper. And I have seeds for carrots and radishes. I tried to plant eggplant in an egg carton, but I didn’t have the, you know, patience. So I bought an eggplant seedling. Today, I noticed that there are three sprouts in my egg carton proving once again that I am a failure at real patience.
This gardening adventure will be one of those “life” experiences. Is it possible that patience is something one can develop later in life?