sunday sermon ~ the empty nest

Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver, excerpt from In Blackwater Woods


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Letting go is the hardest bit.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

A few months ago, I woke up with a rather shocking personal revelation from our Heavenly Father. For it had to do with the absolute truth of the matter truly being that we would do well to not love the things of this world (1 John 2:15) and that this includes our own lives in it to a much greater extent than what most can readily accept. Be assured that if I had not of been given such a miserable life to live in this world, I would be having a very hard time with that, myself.

red dirt girl said...

Yes. I'm struggling with the letting go.


red dirt girl said...

Hi Jerry.

I appreciate your comment. I think you and I are speaking of the same thing, only in a different context. Part of our humanity is suffering. And suffering includes the pain of letting go. Yes, we want to hold onto those we love and keep them close. It is the part of my life, motherhood, that causes such joy and sorrow. As I cheer my children on in their steps to an independent life, I am crying with grief for the loss of their sweet selves in my life on a day to day basis. Maybe we tend to take for granted the ones we love until they leave. I am guilty of that as well. But this grief is no surprise to me. I knew what I was getting into when I took on this role.

I love my children fiercely. I'm happy they have wings and can fly. I cry to see them leave. I know they will return from time to time. But the nest is emptier.

It makes me acutely aware of appreciating the time I have left with my youngest.


Lin said...

Aw, Mary Oliver. She's my favorite. :)

I know. I know. I'm going to be an empty-nester for the first time on August 21. I'm trying really, really hard not to think about it. I'm so excited for the kids, but damn, I'm going to miss them so. I can't bear to think of this house without them here.

And then the damn cat is working on dying too. I told her that she has to at least hold on until 2014--I can't bear that much loss.

Hang in there, my friend. Everyone tells me that you actually grow to like the peace. I dunno. I can't imagine. Just know that I'm in the boat with ya...if that is any consolation.

red dirt girl said...

Oh thank you Lin for understanding. I take mine up on August 19th. Since my divorce, my daughter has become my closest girlfriend. There's good and not so good in that, but I would not change what we have for anything in the world. We are so open and honest with each other, even when it becomes TMI - LOL. I'm so proud of her. And my sons as well. They are great kids and interesting human beings. But watching my angel baby fly is tough. I'm here, rooted in earth, singing a lullaby and waiting for the times when she will want the comfort of our nest. She keeps telling me, "I'm not leaving, mom. I'm just going away for a little while. You know I will be back."

And I know what great big ole sky of a world that is waiting for her out there.


Lin said...

I hope you don't mind...I had to post this poem as well. It made me cry when I read it...it's just so fitting.

Thanks for sharing it with me this week. That time is getting closer and I'm finally realizing I'm not as strong as I thought I was.

Lee said...

Letting go...sometimes; sometimes not...

red dirt girl said...

Oh Lin I'm honored you'd share this with your fellow bloggers! As you said, we are in this boat together. Time for tears, kleenex ..... and some MARGARITAS - LOL :P

good luck to you and Em!
and keep me posted.


red dirt girl said...

Yes, Lee. You've summed this up quite well!


SIXTEN said...

Hi, do you know who made the painting you posted? I really like it. Please let me know!

red dirt girl said...

Hi Sixten,

No. It was a tumblr image. Have you tried a reverse image search with google or tineye? that might lead you to it.

Will look back through my tumblr. It should have it noted.


red dirt girl said...

ok sixten,

found it on aug 3, 2013 -

Werner Knaupp