Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

You will find that it is necessary to let things go…


Pillow cases drying on the line.

Pillow cases drying on the line.

It only took eight years.

You know those things in life that we know we need to do something about, and because the painful emotional energy surrounding them, we find all kinds of ways to avoid them, an emotional putting-your-fingers-in-your-ears, closing your eyes, and saying, “La la la la la la la,” over and over again very loudly, as if somehow and some way whatever it is will magically go away? And yet it lurks there, seeping into our knowing, making us feel heavy, unable to move on, guilty.

I don’t know anything about that…

Let things go

Let things go

Oh, yes I do, and I’ve had a huge one these past eight years. And in an emotional double-whammy, it involved my much-loved home, the Prairie Parlour, on the ranch. The Parlour was my place of refuge during a time of deep transition. As with with so many transitions, there was a lot of pain with this one. As the years progressed, much of that pain remained held within the walls of the Parlour – it was in the physical mementos of reminders of pain, crippling grief, and of lost dreams. This transition ushered in a time of my needing to work as much as possible, which meant I was unable to come to the ranch and the Parlour as often as I once had. The result of this combination was the contents of the interior of the Parlour stood still in time, locked in that period of transition. The years passed. I couldn’t come nearly as much as I wanted, the energy of the place became clogged, remnants of pain everywhere, a visual reminder of so many lost dreams. If anybody has ever lived in or been responsible for trailers, you know how labor and time intensive their upkeep, which fell to Mom and Dad. More years passed. The moments of light and depth of my writing Meadowlark at my writing desk there entangled with all else. And, I love the Parlour. You can see the problem.

Lavender candle

Lavender candle

And you know that moment when you decide, It Is Time. That moment hit on our last day on the ranch. It was preceded by Noé’s accidentally breaking the shelf in our closet in the bedroom and building another shelf. Something about this event shifted the plates and in that moment, getting into the Parlour and really moving that energy, doing what I needed to do, became possible. Out onto the lawn went anything that brought up unhappy memories or reminders of lost dreams. It was a memory and emotion avalanche. I lit a candle scented of lavender—and every time I walked by, I leaned down into it to breathe it’s scent. The blister on my nose will heal and my eyelashes will eventually grow back… It worked! Dad and Noé carried back and forth, the bags of things to donate and the bags on their way to the trash. 

Going to new homes.

Off to new homes.

Out onto the lawn went many of the kids’ toys of childhood, which felt as if they had stopped the hands of time within our space. Not the treasures, of course! Those multiple piles of plastic toys, books already read and needing to be read by other children, art supplies, long-ago dried in their tubes, a travel crib, for heaven’s sakes! On to new homes, new children who will play and enjoy these, new places to be used and create new good memories. 

We rearranged the furniture in the living room, hung a few new treasures and photos. We needed to move the old to create room for the new. And did we ever move the old! In my zeal, I accidentally threw away a bag full of clean and folded clothes and my cowboy boots. I was on a roll! I discovered this at 4:00 am the next morning as we prepared to leave the ranch, and Mom came out to find me digging through the trash barrels in front of the ranch house with my flashlight. So many moments in life to keep us humble, aren’t there?

At the end of the day, I stood in the Parlour and felt the shifted energy, the clean lines, the potential and opening for created a fresh palette for new memories, new experiences, and new life, including these: 

Wyatt jumps on the trampoline in the wind as a storm approaches. 



 I drink in the morning air with my journal and rich coffee in a cup Mom brought home from Mallorca.

Prairie, Journal, Mallorqúin mug

Prairie, Journal, Mallorqúin mug

Dad’s worn belt and buckle hanging in the entryway.

Dad's belt

Dad’s belt

Jerry, Linda, Dawn, Noé

Jerry, Linda, Dawn, Noé

We left the next morning (after I’d dug my clothes and boots out of the trash barrel) and headed back to Santa Fe. On our way to the ranch the week before, we had stopped by Linda Hasselstrom’s ranch and writing retreat, Windbreak House. As you know, Linda’s work has had a profound influence on my own work, as well as my spirit. This was a dream come true for me. Linda and her husband, Jerry, welcomed us to an hour of iced tea and lemonade, wonderful conversation, and friendship. A time to be treasured. In what can only have been a synchronistic gift of the universe, one of my flip flops fell out of our car and Linda found it the next morning. After Luke’s initial introduction by tossing his own flip flops out of the car door when we arrived at Linda and Jerry’s (so much easier to put on that way, apparently), I told Linda that we may now forever be known as the Flip Flop Family. 

Linda wrote me that she would tie the flip flop to the fence post at the top of the lane leading to their ranch and we could pick it up, as we drove back to Santa Fe. I discovered not only the flip flop, but a CD of her poetry, as well as her poem, “When a Poet Dies.” 

Fence post at entrance of their lane.

Fence post at entrance of their lane.

We left a bouquet of prairie wildflowers as a thank you.

Prairie bouquet

Prairie bouquet

The essence of prairie mail.

I know it is not a coincidence that these gifts of friendship, of spirit, come after creating space for them. Now room and space and energy for new memories, new love, new life. This strengthened me to then dive into updating another clogged area of energy, my website, and update at last: http://www.dawnwink.com

And back to the color palettes of our home in New Mexico.

Color palette of NM

Flowers of garden

Ravens along the trail of my running path.

Ravens along the trail of my running path.

* * *

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Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

24 thoughts on “You will find that it is necessary to let things go…

  1. Pingback: One Year of Dewdrops | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Beautiful Dawn. This speaks to me so very much. Sometimes I wonder how I got through the pain of the divorce as well. “Memories seep from my veins. Let me be empty and weightless and maybe I’ll find some peace tonight…It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees.” This song by Sarah McLachlan helped me heal.

    I remember fondly you sharing your experiences with me as we seem to have shared similar experiences. I can’t express how wonderful I feel for you when I see the pictures of you and your family. This posting brings closure for you – so wonderful!!

    Everything turned out as it was supposed to.

    Much love,


    Sent from my iPhone

    • Dear Lisa,
      Oh, how I remember our sharing our journeys and the comfort that came from realizing we were not alone in our experiences. What blessings! I love the lyrics to that Sarah McLachlan song….Wow, she conveys the essence, doesn’t she? Thank you so much for sharing this with me.
      Much, much love to you,

  3. I started unpacking a steamer trunk that I haven’t opened in, not kidding, 17 years!
    I moved it into storage when my family and I thought we were leaving Santa Fe for the Northwest in 1996. When we returned about a year later, we built another home and then hauled the trunk to the studio/ storage of that place. My son, Cruz, started kindergarten at Wood Gormley and now he will be graduating from UNM in December.

    Then the steamer trunk moved with me into a storage shed on my property seven years ago during my divorce (or maybe it was HIS divorce?). So after finally clearing off the packed boxes and questionable treasures long enough to open the lid, I ripped into the layers of carefully bubble wrapped objects. Small ceramic Peruvian women statues, a carved wooden bird from Cordova and then a gilded Noritaki platter from my antiqiung days were freed…. I felt freer also, having begun the process. Today I gave the platter to a friend of mine for her birthday and it will have a new and delicious life in her gourmet kitchen. She loves it. She doesn’t know that it has been waiting in the belly of my grandmother’s steamer trunk, brought from Kentucky two decades ago.

    I applaud you for moving so quickly, Dawn. I’ve only unwrapped the first layer of the artifacts inside.

    • Dear Tere,
      Oh, how beautifully you wrote of this, “Small ceramic Peruvian women statues, a carved wooden bird from Cordova and then a gilded Noritaki platter from my antiqiung days were freed…. I felt freer also, having begun the process.”
      I applaud you for beginning the process and sharing the gifts with others. Unwrapping the first layer to reveal the artifacts inside. Bravo, Tere. Bravo.

  4. The only way I know that we are two separate people is that your writing is so much better! We had to do a lot of unclogging when we moved recently from Tucson to Rochester! I love reading your beautiful vignettes!

    Sent via DroidX2 on Verizon Wireless™

    • Teresa, How I loved reading this! I’ve been thinking of you so much with your great move to Rochester. Yes, I would imagine there was A LOT of unclogging with the move. So grateful to share the experience! Sending loads of good wishes and energy your way in your new home. Big hugs, Dawn

  5. I am so happy about the opening for creation of more space and newness in your realms. Un abrazo fuerte! There is magic in letting go. I begin to find myself as I let go….it’s that dialectical thing!

  6. Dear Connie…..Yeah……XOX

  7. Throwing away and letting go and cleaning out and paring down…yeah.

  8. Wonderful, Dawn. Thank you:)

  9. I loved this piece so much, dear Dawn. It’s interesting how one small-ish shift sets so much reconfiguring in motion and takes us onto the next realignment of the things in our lives. But what stays constant is love. I love that you know that about love. And that you generously share the love with all of us. Thanks!

    • Dear Liz, It IS amazing what that one small shift on that one day can create…. And, yes, into the next real chapter of our lives. “But what stays constant in love.” When I read this I stopped and tears sprang to my eyes. Yes, what stays constant is love. LOVE.

  10. Yes, it is wonderful getting rid of the past materials that hold mixed memories. I’m so happy for you Dawn and I can really identify with you. It is so uplifting and refreshing. You have done the “work that is real” and Meadowlark with be there for all to read forever!

    • Oh, Rachel…..”work that is real.” You know the Marge Piercy poem, To Be of Use? I love, love that poem… I read it aloud to my students. I am so deeply grateful to share love of “work that is real” with you. Much love, Dawn

      To be of use
      by Marge Piercy

      The people I love the best
      jump into work head first
      without dallying in the shallows
      and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
      They seem to become natives of that element,
      the black sleek heads of seals
      bouncing like half submerged balls.

      I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
      who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
      who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
      who do what has to be done, again and again.

      I want to be with people who submerge
      in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
      and work in a row and pass the bags along,
      who stand in the line and haul in their places,
      who are not parlor generals and field deserters
      but move in a common rhythm
      when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

      The work of the world is common as mud.
      Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
      But the thing worth doing well done
      has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
      Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
      Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
      but you know they were made to be used.
      The pitcher cries for water to carry
      and a person for work that is real.

      • I’m not accustom to blogging. I just saw this reply 🙂 Thank you for putting the poem in print for me. I listened to one of your videos. The one introducing yourself to new students and I was touched by the spoken words. It is so true to me. It hits deep down in my heart.

        • I am going to start teaching in a few days and would love to know about the video of Dawn introducing herself to students. Thanks.

  11. I have always been good at clearing out the old to let in the new. My husband has not been so good at it. He still has shirts from high school in the closet. All of that changed for him, however, when he spent two months in the hospital. Now that he is home, he wants to clear out and clean up as much as possible. He’s ready for a whole new life!! Abundance has poured through our life once he was ready to let go of his past. I’m glad to hear you did a big clearing for your future self, Dawn. Now Meadowlark can truly soar!!!!! 🙂

    • Dear Kenna,
      Oh, I know that you are simply marvelous at clearing out the old! I chuckled out loud when I read of Steve’s shirts from high school in his closet. I believe my brother has several closets full, as well. I cannot tell you how happy I am of Steve’s homecoming and continued healing. Yes, a whole new life!!! And, I really do think that a 21st Anniversary celebration in Santa Fe would be just perfect! 🙂 xoxox

  12. Dearest Micki, Isn’t that picture of our gorgeous Wyatt something?! Yes, he simply towers over me now. And what a grand, fine human spirit he is, Grandma Micki. Incredible. Thank you so much for sharing every aspect – the pain and the joy- with me. So much space for all of the Joy now! Love you, Dawn

  13. Oh so beautiful, the pictures & the text! I want to view it again & again.. I’m so sorry to have missed you (Noe) & the kids….Wyatt is a giant!!!!!!!( or it looks like in the tramp. Pic!) such a descriptive & lovely message, I think I could feel the pain & the washing away transistion!!!! Love to all, Micki

  14. Pingback: You will find that it is necessary to let things go… | Latinoamerica Para Adsense

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