Recently I said goodbye to Bella. Bella is/was my 20 year old burgundy Toyota Rav4. Some may find it odd or even a little silly to be saddened at saying farewell to a car. But as I thought about the sadness, it occurred to me the many reasons why ‘letting go’ of her was an emotional event.

In 1996 I purchased her when I was living in Nashville, Tennessee and in 2001 she made the move with me to Birch Bay, Washington. During those two decades, she was privy to many a life event, often joyful, some scary and others heart-wrenching. She was there when I lowered the windows, playing favorite tunes singing at the top of my lungs. She was there when I closed all the windows and either screamed or swore in frustration. She was there when loss entered my life and I cried my eyes out. She was there during many journeys carrying several of my past canine companions (at one point three at once) as well as my most recent sidekick, Bailey Nanda. She was there during travels with some of my closest friends, offering us a haven to share our deepest dreams, concerns and triumphs.

So yes. I am sad. Her successor is a very good-looking 2015 Kia Soul who, being her brother, is christened with the name ‘Bello.’ (Male version of Bella. Not sure how I know he is a boy but it felt right.) When I was about to leave her at the dealership in Everett, tears in my eyes, I asked the salesman if any of his other clients had cried when they said goodbye to their cars. He had a twinkle in his eye as he replied, “Maybe one or two.” (Somehow I think there may be many others who will relate to this story.)

As I pondered what I wanted to say in this blog, a poem that I wrote way back at the tender age of 19 sprang to mind. I was considering leaving college to go travel and had some big decisions to make. It was a time of letting go at that early point in my life as well. The words to the poem seem now quite timeless to me. No matter our age, our situation or our evolving path, it seems we all celebrate, mourn and experience very similar life emotions.

Namasté.

Standing At Midstream

standing at midstream…
looking back, looking ahead-
wondering why, and then why not…

smiling at memories, aching at losses.

hoping for more time to live,
more strength to love,
more will to conquer
all that crosses my path.

needing someone near,
finding them.
needing to be needed,
being there.

breathing deep to clear my head…
phrases, conversations, bits and pieces
of long ago and yesterday
flitting through my mind.

hello’s, goodbye’s,
intermittent moments shared with friends.

goals accomplished,
others discarded…
new aims to be molded and strived for.

a whirlpool of endings,
a collage of beginnings…
flow on,
flow on.

– Maureen
© sage butterfly

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