Letting Go
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Each spring I have to let go of some of my cattle. I sell steers and cull cows. I hate to see them go but I have to let go just as we all have to do in our human relationships.
It’s usually a June morning when Howard brings his truck and trailer to my place to haul away cattle. After we have loaded the cattle I am relieved-and a little sad. The last thing I do before they leave is look into the trailer and tell them “good luck." I have done everything I can to assure continued success for these animals and now they are gone. I really miss them and it hurts. I think this happens with people too. Parents raise children, people fall in love and we all make friends. You give the best of yourself to each relationship so it’s hard to see that part leave. There should be pain in letting go. If you part from a relationship with no feeling of loss you haven’t invested much into the relationship. I am there when a calf is born, if it gets sick and as it matures. I invest time and effort as a parent invests love and patience. I sometimes sell an animal and think, “How will it get along without me.” It does fine. Children do fine in the world apart from our influence because of what a parent teaches the child. They honor you by how they live. I need to cull cows because they don’t fit in my operation. They are fine cows but are too big, too small or just do not fit. I could hold on to them but what good would that do?
I do not believe our destiny is a birthright but a product of our choices. Why keep a cow that doesn’t suit me when it might be perfect for the next farm? My ex-wife and I divorced seven years ago from a marriage that satisfied neither of us. We could have held on but letting go returned my happiness and hers’ too. I traded my sadness for the possibility of joy. Friends become part of our life and then they leave. Are they no longer a part of our lives? I used to talk to my friend, Lloyd, about many things. Even though he has passed I can still hear his words of advice when I have a problem and feel his encouragement when I’m unsure of myself.
 Loved ones move on but their memory and the impressions they make on us stay. We can only hope to do the same for them as we let go.