I have recently taken up the habit of walking our old yellow lab Lucy in the evenings. When Lucy was younger, she pulled horribly on the leash and always had to be out front, but now at 15 years, she is a much more companionable walking partner. I run for fitness (and sanity), and have run quite a few marathons, so I am used to checking my pace and challenging myself when I go out on the trail. Lucy is not in it for fitness. She is in it for the experience. She is incredibly slow, and amazingly thorough in her sniffing of every footprint in the snow and every mailbox. She is also completely impervious to the cold weather, stopping to sniff the air for minutes at the coldest, windiest points on the walk, as I stand there shivering.
While I have always prided myself on my patience, the lessons Lucy has to teach on these walks are beyond anything I have learned about patience through practicing or teaching piano. Here is some wisdom gleaned from Lucy that I am trying to take into the practice room and the teaching studio:
When we go slowly, we observe more deeply.
When we go slowly, we allow the experience to affect us.
When we stop, we are able to take in the moments.
When we stop, we can feel gratitude just for existing.
When we endure, we build resilience.
We will get there eventually.