I was not born a patient man.
Two things have helped me improve my patience in recent years: my dog Clarence and agriculture.
Clarence’s curiosity and playfulness combined with his great strength make him a handful, but I learned much from his trainer, Becca with K9 Offleash Training in Minneapolis. Through four hours of training, Becca never raised her voice or ‘threatened’ Clarence in any way. She praised him highly when he did well and corrected him kindly when he did not.
Nearly two years later, Clarence listens very well and stays with us as we work the desert farm. There are times when you want to cuff, even strike a young dog for inappropriate behavior, but I’ve learned that approach accomplishes nothing.
Clarence loves me, he does not fear me, and he listens to me because he wants to, not because he has to.
A man and his dog only get there if the man practices patience during ‘trying times.’
In February starting that first weekend and moving through the third, my family planted 1,000 seeds for my Haiti Project. As of yesterday, a handful has peeked through the soil… lots of beets, 10 or so corn, 10 or so peas, and yesterday – at last – three tomatoes! Our goal is to get plants in the ground by the end of March to produce a harvest before the high, hot days of summer in late June and July when scorching sunlight and high temperatures inhibit and even prevent growth.
While I may purchase plants from another friend to transplant, I think we will have enough plants to occupy our 3,000 sq.ft. plot.
I inspect the seeded trays every morning. I was ecstatic when I saw the tiny tomato sprouts yesterday. While I wish there were more, I will wait patiently. It occurs to me that plants grow, mature, and produce on God’s time, not mine.
I do not berate my seeds and tiny plants, just as I do not scold Clarence if I have to call him twice to get his attention. Survival for all of us is an exercise in patience.