Lao-tse, the Chinese scholar who outlined Taoism 2,500 years ago, taught the importance of living in the present, in the magical now. Center on the task at hand, be flexible. Let go of the clock and trust your instincts. If a task isn’t going right, don’t force it, or try to control it. Be patient. Let it go for now. Time is limitless. Wait for the right moment and events will flow of their own accord in the direction you need. Work with the wind, not against it.

So while you’re waiting for your tomatoes to ripen, stay busy and let it go. Or if you can’t figure out a problem, walk away from it. Let your mind work privately. Don’t worry.  Never worry.

Some years ago my son and I drove into what I thought was a still-frozen marsh to cut cedar fenceposts, only to see the truck’s front wheels sink into March mud up to their hubs. The nearest winch was a two-mile walk, but the truck happened to be in a good spot for cutting and filling it with cedar posts, so we walked away from the problem and went about our business of doing what we came for.

A rhythm, almost a Zen thing, developed in the chainsaw cutting and limbing, so my mind relaxed, and by and by it occurred to me that a cedar log could work as a fulcrum, and a tree trunk as a long lever, so we put the parts in place, lifted the truck out of its trouble, placed short logs down for traction, cut our lever to fencepost length, and drove home..

About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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3 Responses to Patience

  1. Diana Wagner says:

    Hi, Peter. Diana from OG here. This reminds me of the story of Lao-tse having a dream one day. But was he dreaming he was a butterfly or was he a butterfly dreaming he was Lao-tse?

  2. curiositycat says:

    I love this post. You know I love everything you write, but especially this one (and the one about your daughter’s first words). Everything is better when we can stay present in the moment.

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