Letting go is something I find very hard to do. While I'm not in the hoarder category, I do tend to hang on to things waaaay to long. I have figured out that it is an emotional attachment to the memory/person/event associated with the thing and not an attachment to the thing it's self that makes it hard for me to let it go. And while understanding this helps, it does not keep me from hanging on too long to some things.
Like this desk.
This desk entered our household 10 years ago. My firstborn was 5 and was starting Kindergarden as a homeschooler. I knew I wanted an heirloom desk and hunted for one, but could not find what I had in mind. Until I found a build it yourself kit. Happy dancing all around, I stained some wood appliques to match and glued them on. Honey Pie put the desk together and, deep sigh, instant heirloom desk. I still remember how it dwarfed him, his legs dangling off the bench. My little man.
He sat at this desk his entire elementary and middle school years. Starting in first grade he enrolled at Aurora Christian School, where we have been SUPREMELY happy, all the way up to 8th grade he has done homework here. The sight of him sitting at this desk has been a 10 year thing. And it has come to an end. He is 14 now. 175 lbs. Inching toward 6 ft. And he has outgrown the desk.
While I let go of his crib, little red wagon and first trike pretty easily, I have to say that this desk has been very difficult to let go. Here he learned to write. Here he learned to read. Here he learned to cipher. Here he hid food and snacks and comic books for when I was out of sight. Good times. Beautiful memories. I should have let it go last year, when his knees started bumping the top and he moved over to the table. But I didn't. I couldn't. It was more than a piece of furniture. It was a mute witness to the passing of time. His. Mine. It was something his father and I put together with our hands, watched him hunched over with our eyes, that image painted onto the canvas of our hearts. It was more than just a desk.
For 12 months it sat in the dining room. We have to move it around when we eat there. I had to dust it, mop around it, declutter it. It is in the way, out of its place. It's presence no longer useful. I made weak promises of listing it on Craiglsist. But didn't. I toyed with the idea of parting with it. But couldn't. How can you sell a piece of your history? How can you discard a part of your past? I just couldn't. Until today.
Until a young family stopped over, bright with the promise of a young son and daughter, fresh on their own adventures into education. A family who loves the written word. Loves the Bible. Loves their children. And it just seemed... right. So I offered the desk. And they graciously accepted it. So off it went, a little piece of our life, ready for another eager student to love. To house thick pencils and workbooks and a copy of the Holy Scriptures. And Spider Man. And probably, to hide snacks in. To give silent witness to the transitions their children will make from dangling feet, to bumping knees.
What are you hanging onto? What have you not been able to let go of? Letting go, turning loose, is a painful thing. But a freeing thing. We can't stay young. We can't keep life from changing those we love. We can't make things stay the way we want.
So take a moment, close your eyes and let it go. Stop trying to keep things as they were. Move on. Embrace what is. Here. Now. Letting go leaves room for new wonders, new joys. Life is not a lake. Life is a river. Let it go... let it flow.