Mommy, they’re not growing yet!” protested the child about the seeds he had planted with his mother three days ago. “We put them in the dirt, and gave them water and light, and they’re not growing. I need them to grow!”
His mother left the computer and joined her son at the planter they had set in a sunny window. “They will grow,” she reassured him. “It just takes time. We need to wait until they are ready.”
“Why do we need to wait, Mommy? I don’t like waiting. I want them to grow now!”
“We all need to wait sometimes,” she replied. “I have to wait for you to finish getting dressed in the morning, and sometimes for you to put your coat on before we go out. You need to wait for your friend to finish his lunch before he can play. Waiting is OK.”
“I still don’t like it,” he grumbled.
“May I tell you a secret?” the mother queried. “It’s about now.”
“What is it?” the boy asked curiously.
“In this minute,” she explained, “it is now, and you are saying the seeds are not growing now. Yesterday, you asked me if we could plant seeds now, and we did. If the seeds grow tomorrow, you will look at them and say, ‘Now they are growing!'”
“So?” her son asked.
“I think,” remarked his mother, “that it is always now. There isn’t any other time than now. Whenever you are, it is now. So, the seeds do grow now, even if we don’t see them right away.”
“Oh,” he replied, not quite understanding. “So, they are going to grow now?”
“Whenever they grow, it will be now,” she explained again. “There is a big word that says what we do to help it be always now. The word is patience. Sometimes patience is hard, but as we grow, it gets easier. Do you think we can practice having patience now?”
“OK, Mommy,” he answered. Agreeing was easier than more complaining.
Giving his mom a big hug, he ran outside to ride his trike.
How can it be that whatever time it is, it is always now? First, time is a mental construct. It is a component of physical life and is so familiar to us that it is hard to conceive of a way things could be different from linear time, the past merging into the present and leading to the future. In the world beyond, called heaven, the creative matrix, the Void, the pre or afterlife, there is no concept of time as we know it. It is not only always now, but is always now with the past, present and future as we know them existing at the same time. In that overarching aspect, it is truly always now; there is nothing else but now.
Our physical world, with which we are familiar, also reflects this. It is said that the past is gone forever, and the future never comes. The only thing real is now, and it is on now that our attention needs to be. In other words, it is always now. We may remember what we call past, and imagine what we call future, but we do that remembering and imagining in the now.
Most of us equate patience with waiting. We either wait as someone recounts or processes through their memories, or we wait for something anticipated in the future to appear in a form that our physical senses can perceive. Sometimes it is a long wait. Yet, if all that exists is now, then it follows that what we have wished for, hoped for, imagined is not something in that future that never comes, but in that “future” that is part of now, and that what we have wished for is now. We have already received, and it is appropriate to give thanks for what we receive.
Patience, then, is the sister of gratitude. Patience tells us that whatever we have conceived, wished for or imagined is already there. If we maintain awareness of it through our gratitude, and do not cancel out the gift by changing our minds or hold it away by failing to understand the now and averring that what we have perceived with our minds is always in a future that never comes, then through grateful patience we will assuredly perceive what we have intended through our senses, so long as we are in this world. Patience allows us to firmly center ourselves in the now. Patience, like her sister Gratitude, is powerful.
The child’s seeds will grow, and the mother has correctly observed that when they do it will still be now. The child is keeping patience by no longer probing the issue, insisting that the seeds are not growing, and by doing something else during the linear time of the world that Is elapsing for the child. Not understanding the concepts, but still holding faith in the seeds and their growth, he quits worrying about it and occupies himself with something else until he is able to perceive the growth of the seeds with his senses. He practices patience.
It is the same for us. What we envision and hold in the now manifests. In groups, the coalescing of the visions held by members of the group manifests. The mechanism is the same. It is always now. We are free to cancel our visons by changing our minds, or to hold them away by placing them in a future that doesn’t arrive. We need to keep focus without strain or worry; we need to practice patience.
We need also be mindful of what we envision. It is a fallacy to imagine that our good can exist independently of the good of all, or especially contrary to the good of all. The visions must first embrace the well-being of the Earth and its denizens, of the human species, of the various groups that inhabit the Earth, of our communities, of our families, and then ourselves. By so doing, our visions provide multiple blessings, all of which we enjoy, as we are part of the whole. What we nurture, nurtures us. That vision, too, exists in the now.
Let us take heart as we develop our ongoing skill at practicing patience. Let us also be aware as we use our minds to birth what is called “a new normal” that to create an order which is viable for ourselves, we must first create one that embraces the well-being of all. Patience is, after all, a virtue well worth increasing.