When Patience reached her 1,017 years in her garden, she is definitely losing her patience. Not that there is nothing to do here. In fact, there are many things she could do. She could plant vegetables, fruits, shrubs, and trees. Her garden should’ve been overcrowded with all the trees she planted for all these years yet it seems that her garden has its own life because it keeps expanding. She doesn’t even know how. She doesn’t even care.
Her day started normally, watering her plants, pruning her shrubs, harvesting fruits and vegetables, and planting trees. Then she saw the tree she planted almost 500 years ago. There’s nothing special to that tree aside from it is one of the biggest trees in her garden. Her admiration towards the tree soon changed into frustration which surprised her. What surprised her more is she unconsciously drop the shears she’s using to prune the shrub in front of her, thus waking her up in her daydream. She always hated this feeling. What she hated more is that her lack of knowing what it is.
Silly me, she thought. As she retrieved her shears, she brushed off her thoughts and moved on.
Later that day, she found herself at the part of garden where she saw the gates she has discovered a month ago. She found it weird because she knows that the gates wasn’t even there last year. The only special about the gate is that everything is made of gold. Aside from that, its nothing. She tried to open it but it won’t budge. She tried to destroy it but seems it’s practically indestructible. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something is messing with her. Or maybe someone.
Maybe the gates is making her feel her impatient because deep inside she knows that there is something beyond it. She doesn’t even remember how she got here. That’s a little weird too. But one thing’s for sure: she must wait for the gates to open on their own.
A thousand years later, something happened and it has nothing to do with the gates. Patience woke up in the middle of the night because of a heavy storm. She doesn’t dare to go outside of her hut because she’s afraid of the storm. She decided to wait until tomorrow to check it out.
When tomorrow came, she got up and go to the garden. She’s expecting to see her garden in wreckage but she’s wrong. What she saw made her creep out. There’s no sign of aftermath of the storm. It’s still the same as yesterday. If not, it’s better.
Then a thought hit her. She ran at the gate, hoping that it is open. But before she made it there, she saw someone eating fruits at the edge of the gate. She hastily grabbed a stick and very carefully, she paced herself at the back of individual.
“Who are you?” Patience asked. as she clasped her weapon. The man dropped his food and look at her. But before she move, the man answered.
“Woah calm down! I meant no harm!” the man said as he raise his hand as an act of surrendering. “I’m Wisdom. I’m not a bad person. I come in peace.”
“How d-did you f-ind these place? Are there someone else besides you?” she asked.
“No. As far as I know, I’m the only one here,” he quickly answered. Patience calmed down a little. “So, how did you able to get here?”
“I just passed through the gates,” he said as a matter-of-fact. He pointed out the gate. “When I was-, never mind. I spent years trying to locate the gate. I just not realize that it will lead me here.”
When Patience heard his answer, she walked and try to open the gates, but the same as the last thousand years ago, it won’t budge.
“Why I can’t open it?! What have you done?” she demanded.
“I’ve done nothing wrong. Could you please calm down first?”
When Patience calm down, she motioned him to go with her at her house. There, Wisdom asked for food. She reluctantly gave food. Not because he was stranger but because, he looked like he could eat anything. She even thought to hide all her gardening tools because he might eat those too but it might be offensive to Wisdom.
She patiently wait as Wisdom ate. And as she looks at him, she thought that her speculation might be right. It is possible that there really is something beyond there. Whatever’s out there, she must know what it is.
After a long silence, while Patience is slicing her apples, she speak up. “Now, talk.”
Wisdom set down his kitchenware and answered. “I’ve been searching those gates for almost ten years. In fact, even my forefathers were searching those gates. Our ancestors have devoted their lives to search it. And I used all their data in my search. After ten years, here I am.”
“Why? Why are you searching those gates? Why are spending all your lives just to find those gates?”
Wisdom smiled before answering. “Because of a legend. A legend by which everyone knows. It is the legend of the golden gates. It is about the golden gates that hides the garden that is lost in Earth. It said that whoever finds that garden, they are said to live forever. Of course, most of the people don’t believe in that legend but my ancestors knew better. They devoted their lives in searching and proving the existence of the gate. And because of that, we have been labeled as lunatic. We have been scorned, we have been persecuted, and we have been exiled. We became nomads, searching for what we believe in. Last year, there is a breakthrough in my search. I have found the gates. And thanks to my ancestors’ research, I figured out when does this gate will open.”
She can’t help but to wonder at his tenacity. It’s not everyday she meets a person with such resolve. “Is there any other reason why are you searching that gates?”
“There’s another one. These past millennia, everything’s chaos. There were wars, carnage, strife, and destruction because of famine. Humans lost its humanity. I’ve been searching this garden because I know that this is the answer we’ve been seeking.” He looked at her and noticed her confusion. “You don’t know?”
“I’ve been busy,” she answered as she gestured her place.
“Well, you’re lucky you didn’t experienced it.” Her shoulders slumped as Wisdom speak. “How long have you been here anyway?” Wisdom asked.
“Two thousand and seventeen years to be exact,” she found her saying. She doesn’t even know how did she knew but as soon as she said it, she knows it’s true.
“What?!” Wisdom yelled. He almost dropped his glass. “You’ve been here for two millennia yet you have done nothing to open those gates?”
“I’ve done something.”
He frowned. “What is that?”
“I’ve been waiting,” she sheepishly replied.
“Haven’t you even think about those gates? How its mechanisms work? What is the metal used there? What is the chemical composition of that gate? Who created that gate? Why that someone created that gate?” He told her.
“No. I haven’t thought about that.”
Wisdom almost had a headache not because of her answer but because on the way she answered. “Why?” he whispered.
“‘Cause I needed to be patient. I don’t have any idea what is it, how is it created, or who created it. I don’t want to make a move when I don’t even know in the first place what it’s purpose. I’m waiting because what I only know is that someday it will open. To tell you the truth, I almost lost it. Then you came. It gives me hope that it is possible to pass through. Good things come to those who wait.”
“That maybe true. But better things come to those who knows when to wait. Sometimes, if we continue to wait forever, we may miss the chance to act. Being patient doesn’t only mean that being able to wait for a long time, but being able to know when to act.”
Patience didn’t answer. Wisdom nodded, as if he understands now and everything happening is finally making sense. “Fine. Sorry for being judgmental,” he apologized. She waved her hand as if dismissing the thought.
“What’s it like out there now?” Patience asked.
“As in now? I don’t know, really. Maybe more blood, more corpse to enjoy. Yay,” he sarcastically said. “It’s just that I think that maybe that is the fate of the world. Maybe these are just the consequence of what we have done in the past.”
Patience lost her appetite and look elsewhere as if looking crestfallen. “So there’s no hope outside?” Wisdom shook his head. He doesn’t want to crush her hope but he cannot afford to give her false hope. He thought she will drop the issue but her reply caught him off guard.
“So we bring hope to them,” she said with conviction. “If there’s no hope, then we make new one.”
“Brave words,” he reply with a genuine laugh. “You must really miss the world. I have a question. How’d you able to get here then? Surely you’re a human. Yet the burning question is how are you able pass that gate last 2,017 years ago?”
“I don’t know. Maybe because I spent two millennia I forgot how I got here. But the important question is how will I get out of here.”
“No kidding but before we think about how to get out of here, we must think first what to do with the guards.”
“What guards? Are there people guarding at the other side?”
“I…think? They must be the people who are hunting me.”
It is Patience’s turn to be shocked. “What?! I thought you’re only exiled? What are you talking about? You’re being pursued?!”
“Yeah, sort of.”
“Tell me exactly what happened.”
“It’s just the same as what I have told you earlier. We’ve been exiled because we’re spouting ‘nonsense’. And by nonsense, I mean the legend.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense. If you’re exiled, then they won’t bother to hunt you.”
“Uh. I think, I offended them?” Wisdom confessed. She cannot meet Wisdom’s eyes.
“They knew I have the wisdom so they sought advice to me. They’d ask why is the world crumbling apart. I’d tell them it’s because of them. They cannot bear the fact that humans are the main reason why the world is falling. Of course, it is the truth that nobody wants. Humans don’t want to accept that they have made mistakes. They think they are flawless, but everyone’s full of blemishes. So when I’d tell them this, they tried to seized me but I escaped. I promised myself that they do not deserved any wisdom if in the first place, they won’t accept the truth that they are ignorant.”
Patience thought about it. “That’s the main reason why people are hunting you?”
“We must keep in mind that everyone is different. Some may understand but mostly, everyone will ignore our opinion because they don’t have any wisdom. But we must be patient towards those people because we know in the first place what is the feeling of having no wisdom, or no patience. I’m believing that there’s hope to rebuild the world outside because they are seeking you. They are seeking the answer. It’s just that we needed to be patient in order for them to sink this thought.”
Wisdom remained silent.
“Knowing what to speak is one thing,” Patience replied. “Knowing when to speak is something. But knowing why to speak is everything. Why are you answering them in the first place? To prove them that they’re wrong or to prove them that you’re right? To speak what is wrong or to speak what is right?”
Patience let that sink in. Wisdom didn’t answer. She didn’t mind.
“You know what,” Patience said. “I admit, I may have the patience to wait, but I don’t have any wisdom why I need to wait. But because of my patience, I gained you. I gained wisdom. You, Wisdom, you may have the wisdom to know what to say but you don’t have the patience when to say.”
“Why are you telling me that?”
She didn’t answer. Patience smiled while waiting patiently at Wisdom’s answer. After a long silence, Wisdom joined her smile.
“I may have the wisdom to know, but I don’t have the patience to wait. But because of my wisdom, I gained you. I gained patience,” he admitted.
Patience glanced at Wisdom and noticed something different in him.
“What are you thinking now?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he answered. “It’s just I realized that any wisdom is nothing without patience. Any patience is nothing without wisdom. Maybe time is an ingredient to acquire those two but based from our experience, the main ingredient to obtain wisdom and patience is to have the decision to seek for those two. And only by seeking what is missing is the only way to complete this equation.”
She didn’t reply to Wisdom. She don’t need to.
For the first time, Wisdom asks for Patience for wisdom. “What do we do now?” he asks.
“We wait,” she replied.
And so they wait.
A year later, Patience visited her plants near the gates. As she walk towards it, she saw Wisdom pruning some plant nearby. She was about to talk to him when they heard the sound beyond the gates.
For 2,018 years of staying in garden, Patience couldn’t believe this is happening. Wisdom looked a little nervous as if she was ordering him to eat the pruners but he hid it with a smile.
Then after a moment, the noise went down. After that long silence, they heard people shouting at the gate. Some tried to open it, while some tried to destroy it. While others sat down and cried loudly for desperation. When they realized that the gate can’t be open nor destroy, they all sat down and wept for desperation. They needed to unlock the gates.
They needed them. Then Patience and Wisdom exchanged looks.
One look from Wisdom, and Patience knew what to do.
One look from Patience, and Wisdom knew what to do.
They opened the gates.