My mantra of late is “patience, KKKKK, patience.” The fine art of patience served me well twenty years ago when I was struggling against cancer, and so I call on the virtue again to ease me through these days. I am not suffering any great hardship, just being tested by the bureaucracy of business in a new land and the sometimes harsh realities of life. As I look at the explosive movements erupting around the world – from Egypt to Libya to Wisconsin – I think of communities of people who have run out of patience, finally, after years of oppression and social injustice….and I wish them strength.
Closer to home, Wolf is back on the farm and now there is much patience needed by all as he works at recovering his strength. He won’t fade away to nothing, as he is eating like a couple of work horses, even if all his food still needs to be in liquid form (because he is not patiently chewing it all up – gallo pinto shake anyone?). From the moment he rises till the hour he lays back down to sleep, he is asking for food – and so his family requires patience as they care for him and try to meet his many demands, nutritional and otherwise, serving it all up in a digestible form.
It would appear that the doctors have found a good cocktail of drugs to stabilize Wolf’s mind and emotions. He is very positive, with lots of plans for the future. He is talking quite calmly and rationally, but he needs to have patience as he can’t walk yet nor do much on his own, that alone oversee a major renovation of the house or go on an epic journey to visit his French Canadian roots in Vermont and eastern Canada, just some of the many inspirations rolling out of him.
Instead, he is religiously following his daily physical therapy routine, cheered on by nurse Stefany and all the clan, working to recover the use of his right hand that was damaged during his stay in the hospital (either from weeks of being tied to the bed or perhaps some neurological damage) and to begin walking again. Two months laid up has left him much weaker than before. In his mind, Wolf is ready to resume his active life, but his body has quite a ways to go to catch up. So have patience, Wolfcito, patience (and to his ever-loving family as well – patience, Guindonsillos, patience).
While Wolf is up on his beautiful green mountain, I’m back in bustling San José, working at the Tropical Science Center with Lester Gomez, the man who is editing the Spanish version of Walking with Wolf. Lester called on me to assist him in understanding words, sentences and concepts in Carlos Guindon’s translation that he just couldn’t quite comprehend. I’ve now worked three long days with him and it takes a lot of discussion and much patience between us to get to the point where Lester can find the proper words or sentence structure to convey the message as it was meant to be shared. I am really enjoying working with him – he is a very calm and intelligent young man with a respect and appreciation for the project. He is also very busy with his other responsibilities, so it is taking a lot of patience on my part to work only on the days that he can devote to this and make my plans around his schedule without pushing him too hard even though I’m biting at the bit to get this done.
I went to Cahuita last week (and am heading back there tomorrow). Besides going to see a very patient Roberto, I’m trying to finish up the paperwork for the property that I have bought there. When the topographer in Limon said the land survey was in order and ready to be picked up, we were thrilled – until we took the plan to the municipality office and found out that the topographer had made a mistake and that the people selling the land owe back taxes. So we had to return to Limon once again to get the survey fixed and also ask the venders to pay the taxes so I can register the property. Hopefully things will be taken care of when I get back there tomorrow. A process started back in August, this is definitely trying my patience.
While in Cahuita, I finally witnessed our little stream rising into a raging river. It had rained throughout the night, and in the morning, when I went out to relieve myself at 5 a.m., I looked around and saw that there was water at ground level crawling like a wet snake all around me! It was an incredible sight. Roberto lost his casita to this river over two years ago and his rancho is now built on higher ground. As he says, the water only rises like this once, maybe twice, a year so don’t worry. This time the water took away the tree trunk that has served as his bridge and we had to wait, patiently, for several hours till the river went down enough to safely cross it.
And patience served me well as I persevered, attempting to dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s”, and got the book into the Café Britt stores at the airport. It took three attempts (by myself, my wonderful friend Lorena Rodriguez here in the city and Deb Hamilton up in Monteverde) to deliver one box of books with a correctly-completed legal invoice – how difficult can that be???? – but after a couple of very expensive taxi rides out to the warehouse, and a lot of frustration, Lorena and I finally got it right and passed over the books to our receiving buddy Sergio, for their thirty day trial at the San José airport.
So once again, I ask – no patiently beg – of any of you with friends or family heading through the Juan Santamaria airport this month to consider buying a copy of Walking with Wolf there. If we manage to sell enough copies of the book (we don’t know what the magical number is, but the more the merrier) then Café Britt will place a bigger order and carry Walking with Wolf in their country-wide stores. Although we receive much less money per book from them, it is a great opportunity to spread Wolf’s inspiring philosophy and history to thousands of people who haven’t been to Monteverde or necessarily know about Quakers, pacifism, conservation of the cloud forest, or that amusing wonderful friend of ours named Wolf Guindon. We now wait patiently to see how we do in this month-long trial. Paciencia, geduld, strpljenje, tålmodighed,pazienza,cierpliwość – in whatever language, all we need is a little…..