I have all of these new stories that want to come through. They are pounding at the door, demanding to come in.
But my house is full of old stories, old stories that I am rounding up and wrapping up and getting ready to give away. I just need to finish them.
So as I'm getting ready to let in these new stories, I am making time to finish and let go of the old ones. I’m done with them. They brought me far over the last four years but that isn’t a reason for me to build an alter and kneel in front of them for the rest of my life. I can thank them. I can grieve the end of our relationship.
I know how to grieve. And I can let go. I can let go of the things I’m done with, because they’re done with me, and I can welcome in the empty space without filling it immediately.
Empty space. It’s a gift.
Like the time I looked out the window of the bedroom where I used to sleep with someone I loved deeply. I looked out that window and I saw junk. Weeds. Broken bottles. Newspapers. And I said, ‘Let’s clear out that space today.’ And he said ‘Okay.’ So we filled trash bags and hauled away the junk. Then I said, ‘Let’s rip up these weeds.’ And he said ‘Okay.’ And we got our hands dirty. He made coffee while I kept pulling. I made lunch while he kept pulling. And then we went to the garden store and bought seeds. Seeds for beans and peppers and squash and zucchini and marigolds. Lots and lots of marigolds. We planted seeds in the afternoon and watered them in the golden hour sunlight. And I was happy.
And the garden grew although the relationship ended. And I’m glad. I’m glad for all of it.
Because I know how to clear the soil of old roots that aren’t growing what I want in my garden anymore. Because I know how good the earth smells when I get my hands in it. Because I know that the past has enriched me to grow something beautiful, something new and wonderful. Because I know change is possible. And I know grief is part of growing. And letting go is part of letting in.
And so I get to finish these old stories, which I will always cherish, and clear space for something else. Something that is true now. Something big that my heart just found, just recently, and showed to me, something precious and full of potential, like a tiny nest of hummingbird eggs. My heart showed me its capacity for new stories, and I get to care for them and keep them safe and clear space for what will grow. Because that’s what I know how to do.
And there are seasons for growing and seasons for weeding and seasons for planting, and there are some special days in the almanac of my heart where we get to do all of these things at once.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.