Saturday, July 16, 2016

What is your passion?

A young relative had a discussion with a friend about this passion thing and concluded that she has "no goals, no passions, and nothing she is really 'good' at".  

It occurred to me that I, at the age of 72, am in the same boat.  And I don't care!  

I've canned and gardened all my life, and enjoyed it.  But it was never a passion.  If it had been, my garden would have been weed-free.  I have a history of growing the weediest gardens anywhere.  Why worry?  I seem to get plenty of good things to eat from my garden.  Could I get more if I worked at it?  Of course, but I've never been much for work.  I care nothing for fine houses or housework, new furniture or carpet or curtains.  My favorite part about this trailer house I live in is the back porch, where I can gaze in any direction and see no sign of human life.  When weather permits, I go out and watch the sun come up.  I go to bed at night anxious for my back-porch time that will come in the morning.  Today I watched a deer over on the neighbor's property, heading to the safety of the woods as the day grew brighter.  I think I've mentioned before that I no longer take pictures of the sunrises, because that simply distracts me from the beauty and only gives a pathetic little substitute of the glory of the real thing spreading across the sky.  My back porch in the morning is "the center of the earth" for me.  Maybe that's a passion.

I think the nearest thing I have to a life-long passion would be my love for cows, specifically Jersey cattle.  Even now I'd like to step out the door and lay eyes on a doe-eyed, large-uddered Jersey cow,  heavy with calf.  I wish I could go to the barn with my stainless steel bucket and milk a cow this very minute.  And yet I am finally wise enough to realize that there is no way to keep such a cow bred and producing.  There's also no way to really prevent a cow from escaping to visit the gigantic bull next door, not with our old barbed-wire fences; she would be bred by a bull whose offspring could kill her due to their size.  But I'm not miserable without a cow.  

Truthfully, I never had a strong enough passion to do everything that's involved with cows "perfectly".  I just sort of got by.  That's really how I've made it through life.  
I've not had goals of any kind.  Now, that may seem sad to most people, but I have had a blast living life day to day, waiting to see what happens next.  I've spent my whole life like a child playing, just going from one thing to another, staying there as long as it was fun, putting forth very little effort.  

Who makes the rules, anyhow?  Who is T.D. Jakes to tell me I have to have passion?  (Yes, I know he's a preacher on TV, but he isn't the boss of me.)  

So, if you know someone who just "wings it" through life, maybe some of us were meant to be free spirits and you should leave us to our own devices.  

I've shared this poem by John Burroughs before.  I discovered it in the old Book of Knowledge when I was thirteen years old and memorized it because I loved it so much at the time.  Little did I know that poem was describing the life that lay ahead of me, and it's been a glorious one indeed.

Serene I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea.
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap when it has sown,
And gather up its fruit of tears.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave comes to the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder heights;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delights.


Here's a thing to think about:  If I had no other reason to believe in God, my life would be enough cause for belief.  Because really, how can somebody spend all her time sashaying through life with no planning whatsoever and have this much joy?  Only by the grace of God.  And who but God could have hooked me up with a life partner who learned to put up with my carefree ways?


Calfkeeper said...

Me, too, Donna. This is my life too. I have no "passions." I have loves, I have joys and things I enjoy, but no burning passions. Oh, well. The Lord has been good to me so far, I know He will continue.

Margaret said...

Your passion, in my opinion, is nature--animals, sunsets, growing things. Having a passion for something doesn't mean a perfectionism about it, just an intense enjoyment.

Jon said...

Much like you, I've never had a burning passion in life. I've just sailed along and let things unfold. I think my dysfunctional childhood and lack of self-esteem sapped the passion from me. I'm a pessimist.
I did eventually become a professional musician and was, at one time, a fairly widely-published writer. But I never set goals or had a desire to be successful.

You've written poetry - and I love the songs that you've written and sing. There's passion in that. You're a good and interesting blogger. You always express yourself extremely well.

Passion, for me, simply encompasses the things I love. It can very well be simple things.
BTW I really like the poem by John Burroughs. And, just for the record, I still have the old 20 volume set of The Book of Knowledge.

Sister--Three said...

I am with you Donna! Be still and wait for what comes.

I have a chair like the green one you pictured. Got it at
Harbor freight. Did not cost a huge amount. Larry is 6 feet
9 and over 350 pounds. He has a better one and it has held up well.
But it cost twice what mine did!

lotta joy said...

I've been passionate about learning, but once I've drained that bucket dry, I've always moved on. I have always had a "need" to learn everything I could pertaining to whatever I was passionate about at the time. My latest was baking bread. I couldn't do it. It seemed like I couldn't perfect it, so I tried so hard for five months that I now make the best bread I've ever tasted. So it's time to move on. But I discovered that, at 67, I just don't have the passion or the interests I used to. I find that sad. I've always been an introvert, and I think that's what kept me on my "singular" pursuits. When it's all said, everything we've known and done gets buried with us. I'm at the stage where I don't see the point in practically everything. Thanks for giving me the place to vent.


Lovely poem by John Burroughs. My passion in life has always been to write so here I am. But I understand where you are coming from too.