I talk a lot about process here. Enjoying the journey. Being
in the moment. All that good stuff.
I do because it’s not an automatic for me. I have to keep
reminding myself, to keep practicing it.
It’s sometimes a struggle. To enjoy the journey for journey’s sake, no matter the outcome.
Pablo is really into puzzles these days. He can really focus
on them and he seems to enjoy figuring them out. In order to nurture his
patience, his perseverance, I try to be as hands off as possible. The other
day, I watched him struggle a bit putting some pieces together, getting some pieces
wrong, some pieces right. He was really profoundly in the moment, enjoying this
process, with no concept of success or failure, just pure journey. It took him
a while to get it done, but he did. I said, ‘Well done’, myself feeling some accomplishment
for him. But within 5 seconds, he took it apart, put it away and moved on to something else.
At first, I was
a bit surprised. If it were me, I would have taken a moment to contemplate what
A couple of weeks later, thinking back on this, I realized this was
the epitome of journey for journey’s sake. He did not do the puzzle with any
particular destination or goal in mind. Doing for doing, not for having done. He did it because he enjoyed the process, so
the result was completely irrelevant to him.
Could I relearn this? Bake a bread just for the sake of baking,
no matter how good or bad it tastes when done? (Probably the only way to make good bread, ironically.)
I suppose it is only human to be somewhat goal-oriented, but
society seems to put so much emphasis on goal, success, trophies, results. All
meaningless without a struggle. Without an interesting journey.
Pablo somehow knows this balance. He knows when he does
something for a specific goal, and he knows when he wants to do something for its very process. Wise little guy he
is. I learn from him every day.
I read this poem today. It hit me like an arrow in the
bull’s eye. An excerpt from “Spring” by Jim Harrison (whole poem here) (bold emphasis is mine):
Something new in the air today, perhaps the struggle of the bud to become a leaf.
Nearly two weeks late it invaded the air but then what is two weeks to life herself?
On a cool night there is a break from the struggle of becoming.
I suppose that’s why we sleep.
In a childhood story they spoke of the land of enchantment.
“We crawl to it, we short-lived mammals, not realizing that we are already there.” […]
Of late I see waking as another chance at spring.
Maybe that’s why spring feels so kindred to me this year. “The struggle of becoming”. The beauty and truth of that phrase moves me. Because I am learning what my 2 year old already knows: the struggle of becoming is what makes life worth living.
In celebration of spring, we had a backyard picnic for our goûter yesterday. Sit in the grass, smell the jasmine, have some tea and homemade fruit compotes.
Finally sharing these terribly simple compote recipes, as some of you requested.
Wishing you and yours a lovely Easter and spring season.