True story: A woman with whom I was acquainted had reluctantly put her charming home up for sale, knowing she could no longer maintain it. But it didn't sell and she took it off the market. "Is the house not selling because I'm holding on too tightly?" she asked herself. That evening, she went to her bedroom. "I've so enjoyed this room," she said aloud. "I want to thank you for making me feel so warm and cozy here. Now I release you for someone else's enjoyment." The woman proceeded to go from room to room, thanking each one for the enjoyment she'd received, and releasing it for someone else's pleasure.
A few days later, a neighbor visited her. "I've always admired your place," he told her. "But I couldn't afford to pay the realty fee. Would you consider my offer?" His offer was indeed acceptable to the woman, and so she gratefully sold her house to someone she knew would love and cherish it.
I've had to face the selling of my home, into which I've poured my heart and soul, more than once. The story above has stayed with me and inspired me during those times. In this excerpt from my journal, I write about the time I left my beautiful home in Bend.
I plopped down in exhaustion on the living room floor, alternately gazing at our beautiful tongue and grove cedar ceiling and the mountains turned rosy by the waning sun. I said goodbye to the Elfery, my magical playhouse under the stairs. After taking one last heart-broken look around, I called my dog Tillie. We climbed into the van stuffed with houseplants and other fragile items and headed for our new life. Just before the sun went down, a brilliant full rainbow appeared ahead of us. I thanked God for giving me a sign of hope.( from my unfinished memoir, Crazymaking)
Much has happened to me before and after that move. I've had to let go of two husbands as well as houses. But I've found joy in the spaces between. I had a son. I had the chance to build my dream home. I've traveled. I found out more about myself. I developed a deeper faith, learning that I couldn't always control my circumstances. As much as I like houses and all that goes with them, I've come to understand the transitory nature of things and the enduring nature of family, friendship, and love.