Endings are so often also new beginnings; goodbye and hello in one fell swoop.
Goodbye to college is hello to career.
Goodbye to single life is hello to married life.
Goodbye to freedom is hello to the joy of a wee babe.
I experienced a heart-wrenching goodbye just before Christmas, when we unexpectedly and quite suddenly had to put down my horse who I had owned for 15 years. She was my first baby, brought home when she was only 8 months old. It was hard to remember life without her.
There has been a gap in our lives, and in our home, ever since. A pasture empty except for a little goat who had been purchased to keep the horse company. A view out the back windows with no beautiful, giant creature lazing in it. Stepping out the door of our home every morning without hearing the soft whuffling of a hungry horse asking for breakfast. A saddle sitting unused, gathering dust. A thousand tiny holes. A goodbye. A terrible, tearful goodbye.
It has been two months now, and while the thought of her still brings a lump to my throat and tears to sting my eyes, I get on, in part, by wondering, what is the next hello?
Do we fill the empty spot with another animal to shower with love? (A goat, an alpaca, a giant rabbit, a miniature donkey? The options are endless.) Or do we rethink our lifestyle here altogether? Do we stick with the simplicity of our four lovely hens and one ornery goat, or do we expand, or contract? What is the next hello?
We find ourselves here at the Barefoot Homestead a little unsure, but with open hands and open hearts to whatever the next hello might be.
Have you experienced a goodbye recently? Or perhaps you are looking forward to an exciting new hello?