While the Rockettes kicked and Sponge Bob Square Pants soared high above the streets of New York, I settled into the couch and ate a Pillsbury cinnamon roll. It was gooey in the middle like I prefer, not quite done with the icing thick. The key to the perfect icing is having the patience to let the roll cool before smoothing it on. Patience seems to be the key to just about everything.
A lady’s house caught fire several years ago and her news interview went viral on YouTube. The saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” became her claim to fame. She is referred to as Sweet Brown, and she didn’t mean to be funny. Her house burning down definitely wasn’t funny, but her matter-of-fact tone in explaining how she had bronchitis and didn’t have time for a fire, set a blaze of laughter across the internet.
Just like Sweet Brown, there’s a ton of things we often think we don’t have time for—visiting the sick, taking the car in for maintenance, waiting for cinnamon rolls to cool—but really that is all we do have. Time. We have tons of it. We have time for what we really want to do. We say we spend our time. We say we save our time. Really we can do neither. As Chaucer says, “Time waits for no man.”
Time is a construct of man to facilitate function and schedules. Time isn’t earned or taken. It simply is. Patience should be easier under this premise. With no timeframe, we should be more adaptable to the moment. Saving money for that special trip should be easier, and waiting our turn in line should be less aggravating. Holding our tongue until we are sure how we feel should be less painful, and remaining open to positive outcomes even when things look bleak should be seamlessly incorporated into our days.
But often time itself is more patient than I am. I’m thankful time is patient with me as I practice the art of waiting because just when I think I have it nailed, boom! There’s the overwhelming urge to scream, “Now. I want it now!”
The very nature of time is patience. That’s why time heals loss and broken hearts. Time creates space for breathing into the oxygen-starved spaces in our lives.
Whether it’s the new college degree we are working towards, that intimate relationship we are dreaming of, or that designer bag we’re wanting, waiting can create space within us for unexpected surprises or it can render us paralyzed and breathless in anticipation of a future circumstance that may not come to be.
Maybe technology has us spoiled with the instant access to a plethora of information and gadgets that are more in sync with the social grid than many of us are with their own insides. In a society where gratification is just a click away, perhaps we have forgotten the gifts Providence provides with time. Gifts like stamina, perseverance, self-confidence, courage, wisdom and of course, that perfectly baked turkey.
The good news is nature knows when to make things happen and we just need to practice trusting that the apple knows when to fall from the tree. Then we can bite into all the sweetness we crave.
I could spread my icing on a hot roll just to watch it melt off. Then I’d have to open a new can of icing, but I ain’t got time for that. So, as the Pillsbury Dough Boy balloon drifts across the screen, my eyes glaze over and I rub my happy belly, joyful and satisfied—until time for lunch anyway.
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County, author of “Rain No Evil” and host of Life Speaks on AIR radio. Access more at soundcloud.com\lifespeaks.