Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of Letting Go

To my left is a box packed full of vintage sprinklers and picture frames. Behind me? Mixing bowls and milk glass coffee mugs. My fingers were black as pitch just a few moments ago, wearing the stain of last week's news.

One week from tomorrow, we will walk out of this house for the very last time. I could tell you all of the emotions bubbling up, but I don't have time to type them out. Also? You probably already know the list. You've probably lived it.

When I decided to take part in this 31 Days challenge I thought it was perfect. I'd write for 31 days about the process of letting go and then at the end, we'd move out of the house and into Chapter Two. The hardest stuff would be over, at the end.

Well, things change, including closing dates. Sometimes change slinks up around your ankles and it takes a while to notice it down there, being so quiet and polite. Other times, times like this, it runs toward you pell-mell and barks right in your face.

I had convinced myself that this was good. We would enjoy the gorgeous month of October in this home. We would pretend that every day was its own, that it wasn't some part of a collective farewell. Then, when all the color piled up brown at our feet, we would be ready. It seemed like a perfect metaphorical ending, and I do like a nice metaphor.

Now it's different and I'm telling myself, "You know, it's best to not linger here." Because if there's one thing I'm learning about letting go, it's that you might as well jump on board. There's a purpose lurking in the letting go.

Sometimes we're so ready to let go that it's not really even a choice. Sometimes it's a helium balloon release and there's so much joy and so much unexpected beauty. We crane our necks to watch an old dream float off in a sky of color and nostalgia and we're smiling, because the new dream has already taken us by the hand. Other times the letting go feels a bit more nauseating and a lot more uncertain. Sometimes we know it's necessary, sometimes we are tempted to believe that the world around us is mostly cruel.

But when we know the One who ordained the seasons and the wingspan of a singular burnished oak; who invented the sugar and the salt and the perfect sphere of a hardy cherry tomato; who knew how comforted we would be by things like wool and tea and the light in our babies' eyes; when we know Him, we know that all of his schemes, even the seemingly nutso ones, are for our gain. And when we know that, when we really believe it, our fingers start to loosen their grip and we reach out to touch the very edges of freedom. That's what letting go is, after all, it's freedom.


To see lots of other 31 Days themes, go here.