Patience Taught by Nature 


 Patience Taught by Nature

 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“O Dreary life!” we cry, “O dreary life!”
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven’s true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle. Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land: savannah-swards
Unweary sweep: hills watch, unworn; and rife
Meek leaves drop yearly from the forest-trees,
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory. O thou God of old!
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these;—
But so much patience, as a blade of grass
Grows by contended through the heat and cold.

About This Poem
“Patience Taught by Nature” was published in Browning’s book A Drama of Exile: and other poems (H. G. Langley, 1845).  Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806 at Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England. Her books include An Essay on Mind and Other Poems (1826), The Seraphim and Other Poems (1838), and Poems before Congress (1860). Browning died on June 29, 1861, in Florence.

I am praying that God give me patience with these headaches.  I had thought I was given relief when I went through the first round of treatments with prednisone, because I had periods of no pain followed by periods of mild headaches, but in the last several days, they headaches have gotten worse.  When I woke up Sunday and couldn’t even get out of bed all day because of my headache and any medicine I took brought either mild relief or no relief at all, I knew. Had to go back to the doctor.  Sunday’s headache was by far the worst I’ve ever had.  My doctor was actually out of the office yesterday, but I did get in to see his nurse practitioner.  She gave me a Toradol shot and samples of a new medicine called Bupap.  Bupap has been known to help with tension, migraine, and cluster headaches but is not a first line of defense but usually a last resort.  It is effective at controlling he pain, but as a barbiturate, it is highly addictive, so I have to be careful taking it.  At least it is providing some relief.  I also found out that my CT scan came back clean, so I do not have a tumor, thank God, though I really wasn’t worried about that.  The nurse practitioner and my doctor may send me to a neurologist if the headaches do not improve. 

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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