Finding the gift in ‘goodbye’
For those of you who know me, you know that I’ve been processing a difficult ‘goodbye’ during this last season of my life. As a true introvert (recharge alone), I’ve allowed myself the space to go within, to be with this transition, and to stay present with all that’s come up.
Thankfully, this hasn’t been the loss of a loved one… and I’m so grateful for the presence of those I love, in my life.
It has been, rather, the loss of a dream. In the form of my farm… my horses… and a cadence of life that has held me for 11 years.
This has been a long, drawn out dance… but one that is coming to a close.
In the past, I processed (or didn’t process) painful things, by moving on, focusing on all that was ahead, staying positive, and closing the door tightly behind me. On a few memorable occasions, I also piled everything I could find in front of said door, in the hopes that I would never have to open it again.
Obviously, this didn’t serve me well, and after loosing pieces of myself behind all those doors, and dedicating much of my mid to late 30’s to reclaiming those pieces, I wanted to do this transition consciously.
A couple of weeks ago, while walking, I was asking God how to do this. When Jeff got back to the house from his run, he said that midway through, he got a download to suggest to me that I write a letter to the farm, saying goodbye, and leave it tucked away somewhere like the attic. Well, I can’t say that answers always come that quickly for me, but I took it to heart.
Today, we’re going back to clear out the attic… when I woke up this morning, I knew it was time to write the letter.
I can now, as I’ve written it, feel the gift in this ‘goodbye’. The loss is like a deep bruise, which I believe will heal over time, but as I face it, claim it, and rather than walk away, embrace all that I loved about it… I feel a different path being forged. One that doesn’t leave pieces of me behind closed doors. But rather takes my whole story with me, as I move forward.
I wanted to share the letter with you… as an testament to this part of my story, and a way to let you see behind the curtain of how an introvert processes.
Thank you to all of you who have sent love and support through this time… and I’m looking forward to the beautiful season of expansion and growth that is opening up for me now, as part of the gift of ‘goodbye’.
July 20, 2014
Dear Morning Glory Farm,
Where do I even begin?
It’s unfathomable that I am saying ‘goodbye’ to you, and I have put off writing this letter ‘till the very last.
You have been such a huge part of my life – holding me through the end of my marriage – through the separation and divorce – And then you gave me a place to begin rebuilding my life.
With you, I lived my lifelong dream of owning horses, and having a horse farm. For that alone, I will be eternally grateful. I loved that… going out to feed in the evenings and watching the sunset glow turn your trees and fields golden… the deep quiet of the winter stars at night, and then as the seasons rolled round to spring again, the sounds of the tree frogs and crickets… I loved the bird song during the day… sitting on the front porch, or walking through the grass while I coached, and listening to the abundance of life that held me here.
I loved you in every season… as the air grew sharp and cool with fall, smelling the wood stove fires, when I stepped outside… taking picture after picture of the leaves changing color. In winter, blanketed in the silence of snow, you turned into a fairyland – my own magical ‘Narnia’. At Christmas, you brought me back to my childhood, with the wonder and delight of seeing you lit up like a gingerbread house, when Joshua strung you with lights. It was so beautiful… Turning into the drive at night, you were warm and welcoming, and full of joy.
And always your trees spoke to my heart… elms, oaks, pecan, hickory, magnolia, sycamore… Your huge, beautiful trees… so filled with life, standing sentinels throughout the seasons. I loved lying underneath them – watching the leaves and branches silhouetted against the sky… listening to the birds as they flew through them… hearing the scream of the hawk launching from their tops, to hunt rodents in the pastures.
You are where I Woke Up. You called me back to life… with the land, the space, the horses, the trees, the wood stoves, the sky, and the night stars overhead. You called to me… and I couldn’t continue to live shut down in my ‘nice’ suburban life. You called to the wildness within, and I answered. And when that Waking shook my world, you held me, nurtured me, and coaxed me open, over and over again. You gave me a safe place to come back home inside myself.
Forever, thank you.
I know after the divorce, it became a double edged sword… the burden was so heavy to carry alone, and though Joshua stepped in and picked it up with me, it wasn’t for him to carry long term. That knowing began to grind me down. The expense… the weight of so much to manage… And I didn’t want to see it, because it meant leaving my horses… leaving you. And I couldn’t imagine my life anywhere else.
I always thought I’d grow old here; that Jeff and I would marry in your pasture… that I would have my horses here with me to the end of their days. I thought I would be here, until I grew too old to maintain you. But it was not to be.
I had, and still have, no idea how to say ‘goodbye’ to you. I still can’t believe that I now live without my horses… that missing is like a constant ache, and when they left here, so much of the life left with them.
But this is the final goodbye. It is my turn to leave now.
We’re building a sweet and beautiful space in our new home, but it’s not a replacement. It’s something different altogether.
And so I have to say ‘goodbye’. You will always be a part of me… and I pray that the next people blessed to live here, find as much life as I did.
For all that you are.
For all that you’ve woken up in me.
For all that you’ve been in my life.
For the gifts, the life, and now the memories that you’ve given me.