Holding on and Letting go

IMG_1624Hubby and I spent time this weekend cleaning out the vast graveyard that is our closet. It seems that whenever there isn’t an obvious home for something somewhere else in the house it ends up being shoved in the corners and on the upper shelves of our small walk in.  In time the habit of squirreling things away in there starts taking its toll and it’s time to purge.

For some things making a decision about whether they should stay or go is easy;  especially things that aren’t expressly mine like the old GPS, a boardgame, and a set of sheets that are no longer used.  Lots of broken, outdated, and useless things were sorted and dealt with without a second thought.

Then there are the other things that I don’t want to make decisions about, the things that had goals and dreams attached to them.  I’ve been meaning to craft a quiet book for my children as a special family gift, made with lots of love and thought.  The basket holding all the fabric, buttons, zippers and other odds and ends for this project has been sitting on top of the bin of off season clothes for the past year and a half, untouched.  I still want to finish it, but I struggle to find a bit of time where I can get out the sewing machine without being ambushed by curious children. Taking the bin to the basement makes me feel like a failure  and have given up.

The same feeling goes for the expensive running shoes that have been kicked around the floor for the past year.  At one time I had a dream to be a distance runner.  I trained and ran for about a year before the pain and injuries caught up to me. Turns out running might not be my thing.  Even though I’m ok with not being a runner, getting rid of the shoes has a finality to it that is hard to swallow.  

Things like these were the hardest things to make a decision on.  It is as if by saying it’s time to go I’m abandoning a dream, I’m giving up on something I’ve been excited about. There are things that are worth holding on to, the things that make us smile, the things that excite us.   These are the things we should surround ourselves with.  For everything else, it’s time to let go.

Whimsy Tree

20130512-144746.jpg“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Trees stand as symbols of growth and strength.  In order to grow to a great height they must weather storms, winds, and drought.  They must stand firm in the ground where they are planted and although they sway with the wind, they are not moved.  The strongest trees have survived the toughest storms, they are the ones forced to grow in poor soil and in the harshest environments.  Some trees, like the aspen, grow in great colonies, sharing the same root system.  Working together aspens form a stronger organism than one tree standing alone.. They literally lend their strength one to another to brave the winds and not fall.

It is no surprise that we use trees to represent the family.  From the union of two individuals come children and then grandchildren in an ever spreading canopy reaching to the sky. These families must stand firm against the world to grow strong and support one another during times of trial.  

The whimsy tree pictured above is inspired by similar creations on Pinterest. (For an excellent tutorial go here.) Each stone represents a grandchild of my mother, including my three children.

Happy Mother’s day Mom, thank you for standing firm and planting me and my brother where we can grow tall.  Our roots will forever be connected no matter where we go.