We let go of Mommy’s hand to enter pre-school.
We let go of Daddy’s hug to board the bus.
We let go of our beloved teacher’s smile
only to do it again next year because we must.
We let go of the hand of the principal
as she wishes us well on our way.
We let go of our first boss’s hand
who understands why we can’t stay.
We let go of the friend who moves away
or the paw of our beloved pet.
We let go of our great, great grandmother
who it seems we had hardly met.
We let go of the neighboring couple
who were never home anyway,
We let go of our causes, however just.
And, so reluctantly, the years that were promised us.
We let go, bit by little bit,
of our children, so full of fun.
We may let go way, way too soon
of a mother, father, brother, son.
Letting go is a way of life it seems,
that none can hope to avoid.
It’s a holding and releasing –
not to re-fill the vacant void.
But to pivot on our out-stretched hand
which holds fast, so high and strong,
To the bar which secures it surely
until we deftly swing along.
Strange to say, we were preparing
for a life of loss and sad goodbye,
As tiny children, on the monkey bars
of playgrounds far and wide.
Where Mommy took us,
and Daddy held us,
where teacher wrapped our blistered hands.
Where principal scolded us,
and boss emboldened us,
when the time came for grown up lands.
I’m so grateful for the happy hours
I spent swinging from bar to bar.
A blessed assurance that every hand-hold,
has its limit
and every pivot
invites my reaching
for exactly where You are.
I am transported back to the elementary school playground. Hour upon hour we played 4-square on that black top. Except on icy days when inch-thick plates of ice prevented access. On those days, with the heel of my snow boots, I pounded and pounded until a few inches and then a few more gave way. Others join in the assault. Occasionally, a large sheet gives way and a shout of triumph rings out.
The school bell sounds. Man, that was a lot of work!
Next recess, we play.