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“I Believe in Patience”

02/22/2011

I Believe in Patience

By V.H. Isaac

In the land of constant rain, it is easy to see patience become a hopelessly lost virtue. Standing at the sidewalk, waiting for the light to go green so you can go back home where it is dry, waiting in the pouring rain; one’s patience will wash away with the dirt, the leaves, and the pine needles. I believe that in one such circumstance, one has to but close one’s eyes and feeling the clammy dampness close in. Feel the bitter cold wrap around you like a soft chilly blanket. Then, and only then, when you submit to your unchangeable circumstances, will you learn to appreciate them. As penetrating drizzle soaks through your poor clothes, instead of moaning in despair, smile and lift your face up. Feel the rain cascade from the heavens onto your cheek, your neck, and forehead. Others would stand and mutter curses as they jammed their fingers into the button to allow them to cross. Instead, I stood their like a statue, smelling the sweet fragrance of fresh air and pine. The previously cruel winds were now a gentle breeze, but not because the weather changed.  I believe that the worst experience in the world can be the best; it all depends on us.

In football I learned to love the heat. During the spring, when the seeming unceasing rain finally burns off from the desperate Washington sun, the heat cranks up. Trapped under my thick plastic pads, the sweltering temperature became on oven. My helmet was even worse; sweat would slide down and drip off my facemask directly into my squinting eyes. I put my hand down and wait for the call. I hear it, and with all the energy in my person spring up and out against the enemy line. Just before I hit the wall of sweating plastic I see purple shades of blue and then I feel my shoulder sink into the defensive lineman’s gut. At that exact moment, as I’m blocking my opponent, I look down parallel to the line of scrimmage. Even in the sweltering heat, I smile. In front of my eyes was the closest thing to organized chaos I’d ever seen. It was an epic warzone, and I was in the middle of it. It was beautiful. We risked injury, sacrificed peace and comfort because of our drive. I saw my teammate’s passion, there strength, their determination.  I learned in that instant that I can make any situation mine.

Patience truly is truly a strength that only comes from within. It’s not something to fall back on in the final hour, nor is it something which will spring up when last expected—patience remains when our skies are blue, and when they are not. It makes the coldest, wettest night into a moment of reflection. It transforms the unbearable day into a day so great that its remembered for years to come. I’ve come to rely on it. During my life’s adventures its been growing. I felt it grow when I trekked across the Olympic mountains, and across the dusty deserts of Eastern Washington. I felt it grow when I canoed across stormy waters where the very elements were attempting to hedge up the way. Above all things, I have pushed myself to stand where I thought I never could. I have learned to be relentless. In this, I have developed my belief that patience conquers all.

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From → Essays

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