Once all petals are open, you cut the flower off the plant, so you’ll see more buds coming to bloom. That was what the plant-seller told me when I bought a potted plant from her. That was also what my mother in-law told me about her secret in keeping her orchid garden always blooming with flowers. “I cut the stem once the last bud is open,” she said.
As a newbie to gardening, I was not excited the first time I followed the advice. Letting go of each full-bloomed flower was hard but it eventually got easier as I understood the science behind it and saw the result. This speaks a lot about life.
In life, there are natural processes, development, and seasons that we must go through. Some are as easy as a walk in the park, and some are as hard as a walk uphill or a trek in the jungle. Just like the act of letting go. It’s not that easy, but one must do it. As the wise King Solomon said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
My eldest child got married 2 weeks ago. At the wedding, someone asked me how I felt as a mother of the groom. I was even teased during the preparation that I was to cry at the ceremony. But I didn’t. I was in a bubble of peace. The make-up artist, while working on my false lashes, asked me why I seemed not stressed with all the preparation happening in the background. I simply answered, “Maybe because we already prayed a lot for this day.” But aside from much prayer, mine and my husband’s heart were already set to this day the moment our son told us that he has found the one he’s going to marry. That was 6 years ago, soon after he graduated from college. Since then, we already knew that the day was coming anytime. Whether we like it or not, we have to let go of each of our children when their season comes.
The wedding was not as grand as I envisioned it before. It was kept simple, intimate but lovely. I had to let go of my own grand plans. But my heart was grateful, still. Despite all odds because of the pandemic, we were able to have a meaningful wedding ceremony for my son and his bride.
In life, we do a lot of letting go, consciously and even unconsciously. Sometimes we do it for a better choice, and sometimes because we have no choice at all! Oh, how much we have let gone during this pandemic?! We sacrifice plans for the sake of our health and safety. We cancel big celebrations because of restrictions. How many times have we given up our rights and freedom for the common good? Or even our own preferences for the sake of harmony in the house?
Letting go is part of life. There are things we cannot keep forever to ourselves. Not even our own life! Much more these days when our health is always at risk. It just gets harder if we do not train ourselves to do it or, worse, resist it.
I have been contemplating on what one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, wrote. I have yet to profoundly explain it in my own words, but it already spoke volume to me about my life here on earth. So, may I invite you, my dear readers, to ponder with me? It talks much about letting go and keeping things to ourselves. Perhaps it will speak to you in a different light as it did to me.
“The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.” –C.S. Lewis
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