It’s another gorgeous day in New York. The sun, after what seemed to be an eternity of darkness, has arrived. While looking out the window at the blue skies over Manhattan during a break from the computer screen while at my desk, my mind wandered to summer days filled with plenty of time outdoors – at amusement parks, beaches and backyard barbecues.
Over this past weekend, a friend of mine and I decided to spend the day at one of the local amusement parks in Westchester – Playland in Rye. Of course, spending time with friends in the great outdoors, with rides and fair food is always fun, and this day was no exception. However, there were a few hiccups along the way. As we waited on line in the hot afternoon sun to purchase admission tickets, we ended up behind a group of people who argued with the seller in the booth for some 25 minutes. The more time went on, the more heated, both literally and metaphorically, the people around us became. Likewise, in the park, thanks to a combination of wearing the wrong shoes and a moment of slippery ungracefulness on a water ride, I injured my foot. Thankfully, both those minor situations were easily fixed – the long wait was a perfect time to catch up on old times. And with some bandages back at home, the foot was fixed right up.
I know that when I am getting ready for a summer’s day adventure, there are a few essentials that I always pack – in anticipation for things that I know I will most likely have to deal with…suntan lotion and water, for example. But other times, like at the park, there are situations that you can’t prepare for. The same is true for the spirit as well. If we didn’t have particular virtues on that day at the park—like patience, for instance—the day may have turned out differently.
It’s easy to lose your patience in the summertime heat, but it’s also the perfect time to work on this important virtue.