I liken the process of learning how to voice concern without complaining to the machinations of the game of tennis or sailing. So many factors must be taken into consideration when trying to get that little ball over the net and score, just as the current, the tide, the wind and other boats, along with the cut of the sail and the weight of the cargo, factor into steering a boat safely from one port to the other.
The process of expressing one’s needs, wants and desires without complaining takes patience, with which I have not been gifted in large measure. Sometimes the effort overwhelms me. Sometimes the desire to speak without upsetting even strangers rises to such a level of importance that my need to attain that goal counterweighs whatever need the stranger has not fulfilled. But sometimes, the effort drains me, and I am left shaky and weak.
And it’s not a game. It’s new life in rocky soil, this year without complaining. I feel my roots sprout and strengthen, but the wind still blows hard against the tender upper shoots. Like the herbs in pots on my porch, my fate still hangs in the balance. I yearn to be cultivated, pruned and nursed, hoping the new life will overtake the tangled, matted undergrowth and reach for the sun. But the heat might yet scorch; and the rain might not fall, and the tender care might yet fail. I stretch and strain, here in the garden, hoping I will flourish and that my bloom will please those who cast their eyes upon me.