The letting go phase

by Lesley on May 22, 2014 · 9 comments

in lessons learned,santa barbara

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My Sacramento girls are gathering at Kat’s house tonight and I’m not there. I’m here, in this house, with a glass of cheap Trader Joe’s wine, and the breeze of a fan, and the light of a lone desk lamp. It’s peaceful and wonderful. I’m not lonely, but I also really miss them. Will I ever stop missing them?

Right now the sun is in that final letting go phase. If it were a baby, there’d be only occasional whimpers left. Soon the chilly, thick ocean breeze will begin making its way towards Las Positas and over the 101 and up State Street until it reaches my bedroom window around 2:00am, waking me from a deep sleep and reminding me I live near the beach again.

Eight weeks have passed since we left one home for another and I’m still not sure how to write openly about the change. The thing is, I’m really happy, but I feel guilty saying so. We left an incredible life in Sacramento, and being happy here makes me feel like I’m cheating a little bit on the other place I love. Every time I sit down to write about Santa Barbara, my fingers freeze up and my heart beats a little too fast. So I stop.

But I’ve been wanting to tell you about how I wear Rainbow sandals every day like I’m in high school again, and how we’re having picnic dinners on the Mission lawn, and hiking in the foothills on Saturdays. We’re roasting marshmallows in our backyard fire pit and picking avocados on Sundays and running along the water for exercise and seeing old friends at a church we’ve missed very much. We’re rediscovering El Sitio’s tortas and learning how to clean sand out of car seats. And every single time we drive on Foothill Road, Anna yells, “The mountains, Mommy! The mountains!” This is a town where adorably dressed girls drive Vespas and people paddle board for regular exercise and it’s not uncommon to run into a familiar face every time you visit Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. We were sad to leave all those years ago, and even happier it still feels like home even though we made a damn good life somewhere else for awhile.

A few weeks before we moved, my bible study girls prayed for me. We sat in a circle, like we did every Tuesday night, and they lifted their beautiful voices up on my behalf. They’d done this once before, right when Jonathan was diagnosed with cancer, and it was the moment I knew they weren’t just fun girls, and they weren’t just wise women… they were loyal and deep and true.

At one point, when Janelle was praying for our transition, she pictured me standing on the sand, near the water, playing and peaceful. When she asked God to grant me her vision, I began to weep. Her picture looked so beautiful in my head, and for the first time I admitted just how badly I yearned for rest.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that  despite missing those women so very much, I feel at rest here. We all do. And I know its exactly what they hoped, and exactly what they prayed for.

I’m learning you can let go of a place, but you don’t have to let go of people.

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9 comments
tim_fall
tim_fall

You're making me miss SB, Lesley. Seriously miss it.

ashleegadd
ashleegadd

Sigh. As much as I miss you, I am so happy that you are happy. I am glad we have phone calls and texting and instagram, but it's not the same as sharing our hearts over playdates at the park. Can't wait to come visit you this summer! I expect to roast marshmallows every single night that I'm there ;) Love you, Les!

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@ashleegadd I didn't mention that we also like to drink margaritas in the backyard, and I have this vision for "Marshmallow and margarita nights" whenever friends come to visit. We will make yours virgin for now but that will change when you come back with both babies someday. 

tamarajpowell
tamarajpowell

Oh friend. It makes me so happy knowing you are experiencing rest in SB (and that the rainbows are getting good use), but I sure do miss you. I miss surprise visits and hearing Anna say "Tammy house" as she rolls up in the Bob. I miss backyard bbqs with grilled peaches. I miss watching the sky light up in the morning as we run around Tahoe Park. It's sad to let go of those everyday moments, but we'll always have our friendship...and facetime ;)

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@tamarajpowell I hate losing the everyday moments! That is, most definitely, what I miss the most about life in Sacramento. The everyday moments can be recreated, and I miss them. Love you!

jamiehanauer
jamiehanauer

Got chills reading about your dear friends lifting you up in such glorious ways. So glad you're happy, so glad to know you have such true and wonderful women in your life, and so glad you've found rest.

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@jamiehanauer Thank you! Praying the same for you this fall. I hope I can see you sometime. My brother-in-law lives in DC so we should be able to meet up at some point. 

kelli_seeley
kelli_seeley

I'm so happy to hear of the peace you are experiencing Lesley!! And it made me really miss Santa Barbara...aahh, I have SO many memories there and could perfectly picture everything you so beautifully described!!! So thank you for sharing :)  Miss you friend!!    

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@kelli_seeley Please take the 101 sometime when you go down to Orange County. It'd be fun to meet up for dinner!