One of my goals for 2015 is to spend more time writing. Therefore I started the 52 Weeks Project, a project in which I post one short piece I have recently written every Wednesday in 2015.
We were driving down the mountain in the dark when we spotted a dog wandering alongside the road. He was red-brown, some sort of boxer-mix, and he was jittery and scared. He peered at us through the windshield. We pulled over and got out of the car and called to him, me in my sweet animal-talk voice. We patted our legs, and whistled for him to come near. I crouched down to get on his level and show him I was friendly. He looked so lost and unsure. He hesitated for a moment, then promptly darted in the opposite direction–deep into a ravine in the mountainside.
Nate re-parked the car and pointed the headlights towards the mountain. The bright lights glowed into the foggy ravine. We walked as far as the light could reach, through mud and over rocks, sweetly calling to the dog. It was cold and late, and we worried for him. After a long while, we gave up. He was gone.
Fear of an uncertain future can stop us from doing great things. It can keep us clinging to the things that harm us. If you’ve ever known someone in an abusive relationship, you’ve probably seen this most clearly. But this fear manifests itself in other forms, too—in the way we cling to our possessions, the clutter in our homes, or a job we hate.
Sometimes a decision is really just a choice to keep clinging or to un-cling ourselves, to let go.
Letting go can mean different things. Sometimes it means taking deep breaths and releasing the thing that upsets you, allowing the small annoyance that crawls under your skin just to be in your life. You don’t have to fight with it, clinging to anger; you can let your desire for control just calmly fall away.
Other times letting go means releasing the hand of fear and jumping wildly off the bridge. This version of letting go comes with the trust, the knowledge, that you will land safely. You can choose joy, instead of fear, in the face of the unknown because you know you will be okay in the end.
A few days later we were driving down the mountain, this time in broad daylight. As we approached the ravine, we spotted the dog again, lingering on the opposite side of the road.
We pulled over.