Saying Goodbye, Pt. 1

by jane arie baldwin

Goodbye River

Every year around the 20th of September the hummingbirds head south for the winter. Beginning in mid-September when I hear their high-pitched buzzing and watch them fight over the sugar water at the feeder I cannot help but feel a little melancholy. My heart aches as if a lover were heading off to wayward shores and not returning again until spring. I supposed its because I get so used to them being around. Their sound fills my heart in early spring because everything is new and they’ve newly arrived and because of them I know the robustness of summer is well on its way. By then I’ve worked myself into a frenzy. I’ve gotten caught up in the anticipation of summer – the climax of summer vacation and travel – and I’m flying high on the winds of birth and rebirth, once again seduced by their verdant innocence.

Goodbye wouldn’t be so hard if I hadn’t gotten so invested. Investment (a.k.a., attachment) has the, “what goes up must come down,” effect. Be it the hummingbirds, a summer vacation, or the recent selling of our seedling – The Double J Hacienda & Art Ranch. Jimmy and I agree, though, we had a dream and we saw it to fruition. Sure, we could have stayed on, continued to grow and expand on that dream. Yet when we sat down with each other and felt it in our hearts we knew that to grow our dream of the Ranch we would have to give up on other dreams, dreams just as important to us as the hacienda. Then we let go of what we thought our lives were supposed to look like – as owners and proprietors of, “The creative outpost to inspire the human spirit.”

As we packed boxes a few weeks ago, I felt that old familiar pang of attachment I feel right before the hummingbirds leave. I realized that change is afoot. The trepidation of it wants me to hang on to the physical space of the building yet I know the true memories lie only in my heart and the hearts of all those that celebrated at the Ranch with us. I immediately identified my loss as being similar to a divorce – loving something and letting it go. When I told Jimmy my analogy he looked me square in the face. Ever the optimist he said, “I don’t see it like that at all. The way I see it, it’s like a child going to college. We got it this far and it will continue to grow and flourish.”

Suddenly I felt very selfish and realized that the Ranch did not go anywhere and it will live on. Just as the hummingbirds will come back next spring to feed from the feeders the new owners have put there.