Catching the Wind

“Needles and pins,

Needles and pins,

Sew me a sail

To catch me the wind.

Sew me a sail

Strong as the gale,

Carpenter, bring out your

Hammers and nails.

Hammer and nails,

Hammer and nails,

Build me a boat

To go chasing the whales.

Chasing the whales,

Sailing the blue,

Find me a captain

And sign me a crew.

Captain and crew,

Captain and crew,

Take me, oh take me

To anywhere new.”

~ Shel Silverstein

Cape Meares, OR
Cape Meares, OR
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Rocky Mountains, CO

I read this the other night and thought it would be a good poem for the new week. I’ve been thinking a lot about patience and endurance lately, mostly because I feel like I’ve been lacking these qualities in my daily life; I need to learn how to have patience and endurance in everything I do – with running, practicing, in deciding what direction I should follow for the future. Patience, I believe, goes hand-in-hand with endurance. The capacity of something to withstand wear and tear, the ability to withstand a stressful or difficult process without giving way, and the courage to tackle the challenge head-on, to never give up, and to try again – this is what patience and endurance mean to me. So much easier said than done.

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“Keep going, don’t stop,” I repeat to myself, to get over the next hill, to see what’s on the other side. Running becomes, I hesitate to say it for fear of cliché, but it holds true: a metaphor for life. I haven’t been doing so well recently in running, just as I haven’t been at my best these past few weeks. The few hills that I try to incorporate into my runs have been killers – I’ve struggled slowly up each one, cursing the incline, and waiting for it to just be over already. But I forget the importance of the process in becoming a better runner. I want to reach the top of the hill already, see what’s on the other side, fly downhill, but I can’t do that until I have built up the patience and endurance to tackle the hill itself. I need to have patience with myself, in figuring out my passions and my pursuits in the future, and to learn endurance by appreciating the journey itself, though replete with moments of spectacular failure. A new adventure requires “needles and pins/hammers and nails,” and the determination to continue working towards becoming a better and stronger person.

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“You have to be continually jumping off of cliffs, and developing your wings on the way down.” ~ Emily Dickinson

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