The art of living is to know when to hold fast and when to let go.For life is a paradox: it enjoins us to cling to its many gifts even while it ordains their eventual relinquishment. The rabbis of old put it this way:”A man comes to this world with his fist clenched, but when he dies, his hand is open. ”
Surely we ought to hold fast to lift, for it is wondrous, and full of a beauty that breaks through every pore of God’s own earth. We know that this is so,but all too often we recognize this truth only in our backward glance when we remember what was and then suddenly realize that it is no more.
We remember a beauty that faded, a love that waned. But we remember with far greater pain that we did not see that beauty when it flowered, that we failed to respond with love when it was tendered.
Hold fast to life but not so fast that you cannot let go. This is the second side of life’s coin, the opposite pole of its paradox: we must accept our losses, and learn how to let go.