Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Opening the Door


Last fruit and flower gathering before going.


Today we leave the California farm. Next up: Nearly two months in the Pacific Northwest.

A friend of mine asked if I ever feel sad about leaving a place I have fallen in love with.

It can be bittersweet. I think about leaving our routine of berry picking and animal feeding and  pie baking. I think about saying goodbye to the beauty of the redwood trees and local friends and comfy couch where I read each morning.

And I realize in two short weeks this farm morphed from foreign to familiar. From unknown to home.

That's been the case with most every place we've stayed in the past year.

So when it comes time to go, I acknowledge the impulse to cling. Then I ease myself into letting go, softly, through appreciation of everything we experienced. Then I turn my attention to curiosity and excitement about what lies ahead.

What's ahead?

Always a new adventure. Always new doors opening. Because change is the nature of life.

If I'd known this when my marriage of fifteen years ended, I could have saved myself a lot of grief. Can you imagine letting go of a person you love? Accepting that the person wants to move on? Accepting that we own no person, no place, no object? Accepting change--meaning the nature of life?

Can you imagine fear morphing into excitement?

Yet the clinging and rending and devastation taught me so much. Nothing is wasted.

This nomadic life teaches me more and more every day about letting go. About what serves me better: viewing something as an ending, or a beginning. Viewing an obstacle as a hardship or an adventure.

One of my greatest teachers is this regard was my mentor and other-mother, Gabriele. She viewed her dying experience as an adventure. Her heart was not filled with fear. It was filled with curiosity. Even joy.

I've always been a creature who liked change. But that was on my own terms. Now, I'm more radically embracing "letting go" and "letting be." Life feels more rich that way.

As Mark Nepo says, you have to put down what you carry to open the door.

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