Ah, we wait for this time of year during those cold, dark nights of winter. We dream of the sun kissing our skin. We envision the longer evenings were we can eat outside, gather and laugh with friends and family, and even get annoyed by mosquitoes (no??). We crave the summer season's first fruits, the abundance of the garden and farmer's markets.
The sunflower stalks are growing, but not all of them have flowers yet. The corn is almost knee high, but the sweet ears are still on their way. The figs, watermelon, and tomatoes are on the trees and vines, but still not juicy enough to pick. Patience is what I hear. We must have patience.
For the mother who wants her daughter to learn to pick up after herself, clean her room, learn how to do laundry, and learn how to communicate in a respectful, thoughtful way. Patience. For the daughter who wants her mother to stop asking her all of these questions about where she is going, who is she going with, who is going to be there, and what is she doing with her life anyways. Patience. For the mother who wants her daughter to be interested and involved in something, anything, besides her phone and selfies. Patience. For the daughter who wonders when will she ever feel normal again without being so moody or wanting to rip off her little brother's head. Patience.
Now, in no way am I suggesting lying around doing nothing all of the time. Nor am I excusing the behavior of Mothers to nag, be nosy, or controlling. Nor am I promoting teenagers not to claim the responsibilities they have in taking care of their hygiene or personal spaces. I am suggesting looking through the lenses of "all good things in all good time" and "there is a reason for every season".
It's like the peach, or the zucchini...or any fruit. If it's picked too soon, it's no good. It takes time for the hormones in a teenage body to settle and balance. It takes time for Mom to learn she can't do everything for everyone and that she needs to take care of herself first. It takes time for us to be able to notice the deep needs that each of us has. It is important to honor where we are now on our path because that is what is leading us to where we are going.
Sometimes it is more advantageous to be patient and wait for a calm moment to ask the questions of the teenager. Or to sit and reflect on the fact that mom may be worrying right now because she has a lot of other things going on. Or to squeeze the peach each day until you can feel that now is the time to pick and enjoy. Or to recognize that my when looking at the larger picture, your daughter is really cool and a great kid. Or to create new habits of self-care take time. Or to plunk the watermelon until it resonates with your soul.
Perhaps when we are more attuned to natural rhythms, noticing when the fruit is ripe, noticing when the berries are coming into their peak, noticing when is a good time to speak and when is a good time to listen, we will be able to be conscious of the rhythms of our relationships. We will be able to be more respectful with others, the Earth, and ourselves.
During this Solstice time of long days, I invite you to take a moment, greet and thank the sun for everything it offers to us. Take a deep breath and be patient for what the exhale might teach you.
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By honoring the water, we affirm the gift of life that flows through and connects us all.