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Day 55: The Art Of Holding On And Letting Go

“Faith… is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.” -C.S. Lewis

Our brief hint of spring ended today, although the fruit trees were all coaxed into flower. The weather turned cold, grey and wet. My thirteen-year-old son said on the way to school, “I definitely have that SAD disorder.” I said, “We all do.” Amazing what a few sunny days will do for the spirit and equally amazing how just a few dreary hours of cold rain can make you feel like you imagined the sun. This is true about life in general, too.

Not long ago, it felt like all the details of life were coming together. The visions I had been holding of a fresh start at the business felt like they were materializing, better than I had ever imagined. The myriad details seemed to be gently guided by a greater force than myself. Then, just as quickly as the sun faded, everything that seemed to be finding its place started falling apart. Product packaging issues flooded my desk. Preparations for the big show of the year were muddled in the midst of too many details that are not within reach. 

I know this is the way of things, this coming together and falling apart, each with its own rhythm and timing. There really is nothing to do but observe, offer your best effort in the opportunities that present themselves and try not to take it all too personally. This is easier to do when it comes to things than people, I learned again tonight. My eldest son got the better of me, or rather the worst, in his efforts to claim his independence. “Independence exists within a frame of responsibility” I told him. “Maybe for you,” he said before the door slammed.

I wished I had remembered this quote by Havelock Elllis “All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” As my attempts to reason with his 18-year-old brain degenerated into screaming exasperation. These times leave me questioning myself in the most painful places. Sometimes, overcome by the utter lack of control, something cracks in me. It isn’t very pretty, or mature, or really how I want to be at all.

Apparently I am still a young student at this art of holding on and letting go, even as a seasoned mother of 21 years. And not just with my children. My dreams, my work, my vision of a world that I work towards every day is still all subject to my changing moods and sadly, to the weather…