Saturday, June 6, 2009

Growing in Virtue

This morning I read a chapter on Patience out of the book "Pay Attention for Goodness Sake", which was given to me by my lovely neighbor Christine.

In the book, a safety driving instructor recalled being stuck north of San Francisco in traffic which was making him late for a meeting. He became more and more anxious. Then he realized he was looking at Mt. Tamalpais out his window, a sight people paid money to come and see. He relaxed and enjoyed the view. The meeting would happen when it would happen.

I was struck by how much living in an RV tries the patience. It seems I am always waiting. Waiting for Carl to get off the computer. Waiting for Carl to get out of the kitchen. Waiting for this, waiting for that. I feel impatient. I suspect Carl feels it too, because he is always saying to me, "I'm just waiting for you to finish that I can ....." It's a one butt in motion at a time environment.

But there I am, in a scenic place. I should be looking at the view while I wait, no?

Well, let's talk about the view. Sometimes it is a trailer park.

But the point the book's author made was that no matter where we are, there is something to observe and appreciate while being patient, even on a noisy polluted freeway. In fact, some of my most humorous observations on life on the road happen in the RV Parks along the way while I am waiting for something to happen.

Take Tuesday night in Torrey Utah. You know the little early Winnebago? Slightly larger than a van? Burnt orange paint job, squared off stepped slope profile? There was one in the campground with about 6 hippie people jammed into it. No shaved faces in the group. They were out grilling when we arrived and looking like world peace. Later, I heard a scimitar being played in the little van. This I heard while I was on my way to the bathroom, which had two toilets, side by side, no partition. I was thinking that I don't know a single person that I would feel comfortable sitting side by side while using the toilet. Maybe because I don't have a child? I thought of more lessons in patience waiting for a child to be toilet trained.

The next morning the burnt orange Winnebago left about the same time we did, but not under its own power. There was a guy at the wheel, but he was just steering. A pickup was pulling them by a tow rope. All six people were in the van, just tooling down the road behind the tow, probably singing peace songs. I think they had patience down to an art.

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