<May 16/12> On today’s walk, up sprang thoughts of an image that first occurred to me some years ago now.
That some of the really hard things I’ve experienced in my life – one really really hard thing in particular – & of course we’ve all had hard things happen to us, hmmm? – left me feeling like a statue still standing after a war had taken place all around it. I’m still standing! And there are a few chunks missing. They got blown out.
(Please don’t feel any need to “feel sorry” for me: the hard things seem to have had to happen, & my life is stupendously rich & full & joyful & I am hugely grateful for the life I’ve led, & lead, & the lessons I’ve learned! It isn’t exactly the life I’d planned, but it’s a fine-fine one indeed. As Kahlil Gibran said, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”)
& as I walked across a dandelion-filled field (oh, I spent many years fighting cosmetic pesticide use, so I did)
I remembered how once upon a time I used to try & keep the ½ acre yard my (then) husband & I owned dandelion-free – & we lived beside a 110-acre farm that as often as not was 110 acres of dandelions – & I learned the hard way to surrender to the dandelions…it became clear it was going to be them or me, & so I surrendered the war I could not win. The dandelions “won” that one. I had to let it go.
We must learn to pick our battles in this life, must we not?
(but oh, all our efforts to end needless cosmetic pesticide use in our communities bore much, much fruit, in the eventual enacting of a provincial pesticide law that I wish went further than it does, but still & all, we are all now breathing in considerably less poison of that kind, anyway)
& a friend just gave me (one day after I reluctantly decided to part with another shirt that no longer really “works”) a nice black top, & this made me remember something Helen Keller once said: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
& this is clearly so very very true.
Statues…surrender…& doors that close & then open up again…
p.s. I also now recall a very fun thing we did while fighting the dandelion war: we once invited a bunch of friends to come with their families & a dandelion-picking tool, so we could all spend a few hours digging out dandelions while all the kids played. My ex & I provided a barbecue meal (& beer) as a reward, & it was all a pretty fun way to rassle with the darn dandelions…
Quote of the day with this post: “Some people think it’s holding on that makes one strong. Sometimes it’s letting go.” – Sylvia Robinson
Runners-up: “When I pray, I ask for guidance in my life to be the best person I can be, to learn what I need to learn, and to grow from what I learn. Always when I pray, I ask to let go. Letting go is the hardest part.” – Julia Butterfly Hill in The Legacy of Luna
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens – that letting go – you let go because you can.” – Toni Morrison, novelist, Tar Baby – Utne May-June ’03
“Who breaks the thread, the one who pulls, the one who holds on?” – James Richardson, poet, professor (b. 1950)