Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Letting Go of Holding On.

One month left in my home. I am enjoying it differently now that I know I will be gone from it soon. I realize now that I took it and its blessings for granted (an uncanny parallel to how I previously approached life in general). I now sit in the backyard almost every day, listening to the nothingness punctuated by birdsong. I open all of the windows and doors and let the cross breeze scatter papers through the rooms. I study how the light changes as the sun glides kitty-corner across my property. Perhaps this is simply a function of now having more time in my home to actually witness and observe these simple delights. Or maybe it signifies a more significant, overall awakening that is taking place in my being. Whatever it is, I will miss my home. It’s a really good one.

“It’s just a house; four walls, bricks and mortar,” my friends chime supportively. “You’ll find another one someday.” And I know they’re right. But letting go is harder than I thought. Letting go of my career was oddly easy in comparison.

It doesn’t help matters that the whole “home” issue is steeped in the alarming reality that I still don’t know where I’ll be living in 30 days (options: either renting an apartment (that will sit largely unoccupied, save for my things) or tossing everything into storage and couch surfing for a few weeks until I leave on my trip). Preventing me from continuing to skim along on the healthy dose of denial I have been enjoying recently is the fact that mail is already coming to the house addressed to the new owners.

The new owners!

Nothing is an accident. I’ve always believed this; now more so than ever in reviewing the events that have led up to this turning point in my life. (Can it really be brushed off as a mere coincidence when this week I found a book staring at me from the window of a used bookstore (which I never, ever go to) entitled “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times“?) (I bought it.)

As Max Ehrmann so eloquently penned, “Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” Last Sunday evening the universe unfolded M and L directly into my path. M and L are the delightful people who in 30 days’ time will be taking over my role in the enjoyment of the nothingness and birdsong of this backyard. I had the immense pleasure of spending some unexpected time with them. Unexpected, but certainly not accidental.

M and L have been married for 30 years. In that 30 years, they have raised four children and moved 16 times. At the age of 35, L abandoned his fast-paced corporate marketing career and went back to school to pursue his true calling in a vastly different field (sound vaguely familiar?). Like I’ll be doing shortly, M and L once held a garage sale – except not like me, they did it to sell off their own personal and in some cases beloved belongings, in order to have enough money to rent a U-Haul to drive to Oklahoma (at night, in a snowstorm) to start a new life (with two toddlers and a newborn in tow). M and L understand letting go.

And they make what I’m doing look like a trip to the corner store.

They are a gentle, funny, sage, insightful, light-hearted and relaxed couple. They dispense the wisdom of their years and experiences with a grace that leaves me with a sense of calm and centeredness. In the brief interaction we shared, without even trying, they somehow managed to make me believe that everything will be ok. Not just the house situation, but everything. Knowing them makes letting go a little easier.

I like that they will be living in this house. I like knowing that they will call it home.

For the 17th time.

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” Unknown


Anonymous said...

hmmm, sounds like a vaguely familiar story. Remember when your sis and family, sold their farm and century old remodeled farm house, had an auction sale , and headed off for the West. No jobs, only what would fit in, and no home to go to.....
And, then we did it again. Vancouver Island to Alberta, only a rented apartment, no schools for the kids.
And......we survived, and are better people for it. What an adventure this thing we call life.
God only knows the outcome, and long before we do!

Love Shan

Anonymous said...

Ha ha... I started reading the comment above... and I was like... hey... that sounds like... MY FAMILY! Then it said... "we" and I was like... si that mom? ha ha

Well... Aunt Cara it's funny how most of us don't have the time any more to just SIT and listen? I loved when you were describing those little intricacies that you noticed... the funny thing is that you can notice those anywhere... if only we take the time to. Usually we are too busy with all we have to do...

red-handed said...

I hope you rent a storage space small enough to accomodate only your very best things, so when you return from your big adventure you can say to yourself, "And now I'm going home to only the best things." I hope you can see (and look forward to) that far ahead. Good luck, Cara!

Nick's Games said...

What you say about enjoying your home is so true, but I only think you can enjoy those things when you are truly happy. They were always there, but you weren't, you know?

How awesome that you met the new owners! How often do you need to be hit over the head to know you are doing the right thing?

Anonymous said...

I need to do something about that whole Nick's Games thing...


nathalie said...

letting go of my home is the hardest thing. the apartment that has been a refuge and a ball and chain at the same time. i keep on reminding myself, this is just a box... this is just a box. it really is. it can be replaced... it will be... by a backpack.

i read you're leaving soon. good luck on your travels. and mostly, be and enjoy... how many people grant themselves an experience like this?