When I first published this piece in 2015 it was called “Holding.” Today, as I console myself with its message I have renamed it with a more appropriate title. I am a confounding blend of heartbroken and heart-full today, having said goodbye to my son who begins his college career in the coming days…his next unfolding.
I said to Theresa in the moments before his departure, “I am just so, so sad.” And through the tears we began to laugh about all the reasons we are so, so glad to see him go!
The “fragile and the tenuous” I mention below is inside of me. What I am drawn to, I see now, is the breakable part of myself. It is not so coolly composed. It is just hanging on, at least today.
I embraced my son and whispered a blessing in his ear: that he may be blessed and kept, that he may be shone upon with grace, and that he may be bathed in peace.
I offer it also to myself.
I walked outside after our last rainfall. I think I was going to check the mail. I found instead this perfect composition of water and leaf.
More and more I find myself attracted to the fragile and the tenuous. I am drawn to what will not last; the temporary, the changing, the transitory.
I am the drop of water, sliding off with the next breeze, evaporating into the warming air. I am a small child longing to become. I am a contribution hoping to be made.
Some days I want to stay on the leaf, holding out hope that it will remain just like this for just a little longer. Some days I am ready to get soaked in, nourishment for something greater.
Being held is best appreciated in the letting go.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.