Thursday, March 4, 2010

And it feels like letting go.

The weather is gorgeous today: clear blue sky, whispy streaks of clouds, brilliant yellow sunshine and enough allergens to make your eyes swell shut. (Okay, so it's gorgeous minus that last part.) So naturally, I spent part of today driving around familiar country streets, listening to happy music and basking in the glory of the day. It was fantastic.

But every time I experience a day like today, I always feel a small twinge of something I can't quite understand. Regret? Sadness? Boredom? Congestion?

Seriously, days like today remind me of all the previous times in my life when I've experienced weather like this. Usually these memories entail other people I used to be close to... friends, family members, loved ones... People that have, in some way or another, left my life completely. I think of these people on beautiful days like today, and sometimes I feel them again. I can see their smile or hear their laugh, or I remember a stupid joke they would always tell or song they used to always sing...

Memories are powerful things, leaving behind vestiges that sometimes feel so real you have to double check to make sure you're not actually losing your mind. They bind us to people in ways that don't even make sense sometimes, making us associate them with little, seemingly inconsequential things. For example, every time I drive by this deserted mailbox in Cedar Park, I think of an old friend who I've lost touch with over the years. This person and I never actually visited the mailbox, nor did we ever come close. But when I see that box waiting for mail that will never come, I'm immediately brought back to days when I too waited for them to return. (Or maybe I'm just a romantic, poetic freak who likes to make connections that are just ridiculous and cheesy. Probably the latter.)

In any case, weather like today's is a good chance to practice the art of letting go. Letting go of people, places, memories, feelings, thoughts, confusions... Letting go of things that were once ours but left in the night when we weren't looking. Letting go is necessary and freeing. What, if anything, do we really have control over or possession of in this life? Not much. But hey, that's how it should be. Letting go doesn't mean forgetting or not loving. Letting go is freeing yourself from the pain that comes with missing someone so much it hurts. In this you can forgive yourself, appreciate the memories, and move on a little lighter than before. Maybe those people will come back. Maybe not. Whatever the case, you have those memories of them to turn to on beautiful days. The good memories, the beautiful ones that can carry you through the darkest times, are the ones that will stay whether you hold onto them or not.

Days like today are perfect for letting go.

"The time of departure is not mine to choose; I must find my way alone in
this darkness...
Love likes to wander from one to another,
as if God willed it so. My darling, farewell."
- Wilhelm Müller

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