Long Good Byes; More Lessons From the Pen


I have never been good at good-byes, even when I know they are for the best.  I have yet to decide if there is a better choice between a sudden departure, or those that are more drawn out.  I will say, that I do see some personal progress, in the process. The art of good bye is one of gracefully letting go. Not being left with the sense of lack, but rather one of love.

I am fairly certain that no-one particularly likes good-byes, yet, as I stood at the threshold of goodbye this week, there was/is less sadness and more appreciation for all that the situation taught me.

I have noticed this week too, that I am not afraid of new beginning either. I used to hate them. I think perhaps because, I was dragging so much of the past around with me, that new beginnings meant packing and unpacking all that mess. I have gotten better at leaving some of the baggage behind and just packing those things that either served me well, or things that I will need.. tools to use in the new thing. Let me tell you, that too is an art form.

I have embraced the truth that “others: ( both human and animal) come to us in three ways; a reason, a season or a lifetime.  We cannot always know, going into them, which one they show up to bring us, but there is comfort in the knowing that this is an absolute truth. There is a peace knowing that everything doesn’t come with a lifetime guarantee. Knowing that leaves me feeling better, somehow.

This simple truth, has allowed me to let go with grace and to thank God for the lessons they brought, even the ones that hurt, and leave your heart just a little tender. I think it helps too, knowing if you truly showed up fully, or if you did not.  If you did. If you put everything you had towards it, left it all on the ground, so to speak, rode it as far as you could, and then let go….. there is a closure, a sweet, reflective, graceful closure that allows one to stand there drink in the air around them and say…. I did, what I knew to do and that is enough.

Sissy, came into my life bringing with her all kinds of promise. I knew what I wanted when I found her. I wanted, to not only have a horse of my own, I wanted one, that could teach me all the reasons why, we as riders, ask the horse to do the things that we do. I wanted to learn the art of the ask, the fundamentals of ground work and gain more confidence in the saddle. Through Sis, I was able to do all of that. She came for both a reason and a season.

There are times, in any relationship, that we can hold on so tight to our own wants, needs and ideals that we can’t see the needs of others, and our actions can stop the learning process of those that we love. Such is the case for me and Sissy. While she was a good teacher, we came to a point where I was impeding her learning. I am aware that I was able to take her on a journey of her own, one in trust. I am proud of the work I did in, that area with her. I offered her a sense of security, and space to learn to trust that she was okay. I loved watching her as she worked her way through another hurdle.  I wonder if she thought the same of me?

Life presents itself with both hellos and goodbyes.  For me, they can both be terrifying, electrifying, and some times and array of emotions everything in between. But I love the growth that I feel inside myself, I am mastering the art of letting go, and there is freedom in that.

Whether a good bye is short or long, they bring with them the opportunity to stand on the fence, for a moment and evaluate all that you have learned. The good, the bad, the hard truths, that we know in our hearts about those things that we need to do better, or different, or less of, or. I believe it to be true that most true friendships will teach us more about ourselves than they will about others, if we will have the courage to go there. They are soul whispers. The unspoken truth between two beings.

This good bye has been a long one, but even as this chapter closes, I look down the road and know that there is another “Four hoofed teacher” just waiting for me , even if , perhaps, I haven’t yet met them, yet. And, that is a hello I eagerly await. For I know, that with them, after this season of a long goodbye , will come more lessons from the pen.

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