By Ruth Jarman
Patience is the forth ecological virtue that is a "fruit of the spirit". Patience is something I often find myself asking of my children when my youngest wants to go and pick up the girls from school at 11 o'clock in the morning or everyone's hungry for chocolate pancakes. I start this little ditty, hoping, often with good reason, that they will join in and laugh and forget their craving:
Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace,
Grace is a little girl who wouldn't wash her face.
But the impatience of our children pales into insignificance in the face of the impatience of us grown-ups. Have a look around your home and lifestyles at the things we have and do that are a result of our impatience. And look at how much energy is used because, in the words of my toddler, "I WANT IT NOW!!"
We need to grow up in a more profound way than my children need to. We need to grow up spiritually and learn to wait, to take a breath, to feel the weight of the cake mixture through the rough wooden spoon, to listen to the birds as we hang out our washing to be dried by 100% wind and solar energy. To feel the air on our faces, to think, wonder or pray as we take the time to walk or cycle instead of driving in our cars. We need to have patience in our holidaying and take time travelling to places instead of jumping on a plane. So much of the energy we use is because we don't want to wait. Let's remember that patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace and Grace is a little girl who wouldn't wash her face.
Give the labour-saving devices a summer break!
Bring out the clothes pegs, wooden spoon and hand whisk. Give your tumble-dryer a holiday, (or better still, give it away to make room for the recycling bins), keep the electric mixer for egg whites and have a competition with your spouse over how much you can actually fit in the dishwasher.