I recently found a book from my childhood which includes stores of Little Bobby who lives with his aunt. She sends him to the tower bedroom when he falls ill, or misbehaves. He creeps into the cheerful room when he needs a bit of solitude or comfort.
There he finds himself surrounded with pretty wallpaper depicting garden gates. From one of them comes a fairy who guides him through lonely or troubled times. One of the gates opens on the Garden of Misunderstanding, where parents learn why their children don’t comply with directions but also do not always deserve to be scolded. Small beings admonish parents to pay closer attention to their charges, who might have had the best of intentions.
I walk in the Garden of Misunderstanding from time to time. I hear what others perceive about how I have acted or what they have said and done. I sense how quick we each have been to judge the other. I mourn the lost chance, the moment which has slipped away without us coming to a place of common comfort.
The days continue. I cannot undo anything which I have said or done. Nor can I change how I’ve reacted. I can only gather my senses around me and strive for clarity from this day forward. I find my own contentment in dedicating myself to the effort.
It’s the twenty-second day of the fifty-third month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.