The Path Forward

Penny and m at the end of a fairly grueling trail challenge competition

This is not about the Pandemic (with a capital “p” because it’s been so significant in just about everyone’s life for the last year or so).

I’ve been mired in the past the last few weeks. I’ve dreamed of horses and wished they were still in my life.

It has made me sad and forced me to think about what it takes to move forward and let go of the past.

People are always telling other people to just let go. It’s not that easy.

When my dad died, it was the first major loss in my life. I was a few days shy of 17 years old and it changed my life forever. Sometimes I revisit the day he died. It’s been years now since that has made me cry. But the important thing here is this: I’ve never let it go. I’ve also never let go of the death of my mother.

So does that mean I am stuck in that past? Speaking from the inside of me (after all, I’m not really qualified to speak from the outside of me), I’d have to say that no, I am not stuck in that past even though it might look like it from the outside.

But there have been days recently when I fervently wished I could let go of horses and just move on. Sometimes the pain of giving up being with horses is almost too great to tolerate.

Who knows? Maybe ten years down the road I will look back on this day and the last couple of weeks and realize that I have actually moved forward. Perhaps I will have just put horses beside me instead of behind me and they are moving forward along with me. Slightly out of step, but there nonetheless.

Maybe that’s how it always is. Maybe there is no real letting go. Maybe the true path forward is to carry all the things that have meaning for you right along with you. Maybe the pain of loss is the thing that reminds you that you once had something really good.

And maybe having known something good in the past is the thing that lets us hope for more good in the future.

Penny and me shortly after I first got her. She was 17 years old and hadn’t done any real work in quite a few years. But she was well-trained and smart and it didn’t take me long to get her back in shape. We had some really great times together.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

3 thoughts on “The Path Forward

  1. I agree, deep meaning memories are almost impossible to let go. I believe they become a part of us and help define us in a way. For example, reminds us of the shortness of life in a case of loss of a loved one. Many become core memories.


    1. Yes. And I’ve become convinced that no matter how unpleasant some memories might be, there are some we should hold onto because, as you said, they become core memories and they shape us. Also, loss reminds us that loss always happens and so we need to cherish each and every moment, person, creature, experience, etc. that happens in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true. Yes, sadly for most of us we are awakened by the pain of loss through kensho then satori. My life transformed through an experience of pain.

        Liked by 1 person

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