This time next week I will have said goodbye to my home in the Texas Hill Country and driven through the gate for the last time. Right now I’m okay, but when I think of the goodbye gathering my neighbors are having for me, I remember the people, the memories, the what might have beens…
How do you say goodbye to the best of times and the worst of times?
Tomorrow I’m going to scatter James’s ashes in the canyon. The same canyon where his Comanche ancestors drew water and nourishment and stored meat in the cool recesses of the limestone caves. We lived and loved well, here, and the Little House and the land loved us in return. They provided us with a life more blessed than either of us had known before.
Sam and Molly don’t know it yet, but they’re going to miss the freedom of their yard. For the foreseeable future, they’ll be tethered to me and a leash at our new apartment. I already feel bad for them. Today I watched as Sam barked at the hawk overhead, outraged that he’d ignored Sam’s warnings to steer clear of his yard.
I’m going to miss the squirrels, scampering across my 100-year-old tin roof. Squirrels are such joyous creatures. I think their sole purpose in life is to have fun. They’ve stashed their acorns in the plants on my porch. What if they’re counting on these acorns to see them through the winter? I worry that if I leave them in a corner of the porch, the new owners will sweep them away.
Then there’s the water tank I keep for the wildlife: the Black Buck Antelope, the White Tail and Axis deer and the squirrels. What if the new owners don’t keep it filled with fresh water? I hope they aren’t like the raccoon who removed my wire ladder and caused three squirrels to drown. I wired the next ladder to the fence behind the tank. I’m trying to resist the urge to leave the new owners a note.
I’m going to miss the grove of Post Oak trees… not just because it’s sacred, the place where James died, but because the view is spectacular. If the new owners build a home there, I hope they protect the drip line of the trees from construction and heavy machinery driving over their root system. Post Oaks are a lot like Ficus trees: They’re a bit sensitive.
This land has been here since time began and will be here until God sees fit to end it all, so who am I to think the land and the wildlife will struggle without me? The real question is how will I—and my dogs—fair without them? There is magic here. I hope the new owners know how to be still long enough to feel it and be guided by it.
Today when I meditated, I imagined a bright white light had formed a tent around me, illuminating everything with exquisite brightness. The light searched out the dark places where my pain and disappointment are stored and then sent a powerful charge of energy straight into my heart.
I have a sense that something wonderful will happen. This will be yet another adventure, and I’m moving forward with expectancy and excitement.