#29 Abide


On the radio I heard a long forgotten word: abide. A Google definition search provided this (my edits):

a·bide /əˈbīd/ verb.  Accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation). “I said I would abide by their decision”. Comply with, obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, uphold, heed, accept, go along with, acknowledge, respect, defer to “he expected everybody to abide by the rules”. Informal: be unable to tolerate (someone or something), “if there is one thing I cannot abide it is a lack of discipline”. Synonyms: tolerate, bear, stand, put up with, endure, take, countenance.
This explains why the word feels so forgotten. My first thought when hearing the word was the hymn “Abide with me. Fast falls the eventide”. Does anyone abide anymore?
Zoom zoom. We are so busy with busy; rushing around forgetting to look around us, flying through red lights, getting ours, getting through. To abide means to pay attention, to slow down, to be patient. Now there’s a concept that seems inoperable in today’s daily living. The virtue of patience. (Ah, “virtue”, another fall-by-the-wayside word and concept.) Did I just fall down a rabbit hole? I am not much one for nostalgia so looking for a more reasonably paced world seems anachronistic yet living language, or more appropriate, disappearing vocabulary, is a clue to pay attention to what may be being lost, “waysided” if you will.
Abide. Even the critters I watch daily seem to be averse to the concept. Blue Jays squabble. The Red Bellied Woodpecker flies in, jabbing his or her long sharp beak in the direction of the sparrows accustomed to having the sunflower chip feeder to themselves, but not when the big bully arrives. And those gulls and those crows! Hassle hassle. Only the ducks out on the water seem to have an abiding clue but, then again, I can’t get close enough to them to really see what’s going on and I don’t speak Duck.
Abide. No abiding present in social or other media. My heart aches for lack of civility, for neighborliness and understanding. To “abide” might at least mean toleration but that too seems long gone. But I think I’ll keep the word, keep trying to find examples of it as I go about my daily busy-ness.

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