Sometimes we have to let go what we love the most

This is what I learned from my old grandfather and his lovely chickens...

When I was a little girl, around 5-8 years old, I used to spend summertime with my grandparents in the deep countryside of Russia. It was a very simply authentic place. They were used to an old fashioned way of living - absolutely normal for people in this area for decades. You might think that time stood still there.


Imagine a one-floor wooden house with no water system, no kitchen, and the toilet was…. yeah, somewhere outside. Every morning you bring water in buckets from the well, and instead of taking a shower you go to the “banya”. A typical Russian version of a sauna.

The small village inhabitants worked on the fields to grow potatoes, tomatoes, and all the vegetables and fruits they could grow in Russia during the summer season. Part of it they could sell on the market, but most of them were winter supplies. The rest was some income to spend on.. well, other things that most of the time were not for sale at this time.

They had cows, turkeys, a pig, and, of course, many chickens. You can imagine at my age, the chickens were my favorites. I loved the funny creatures who gave me so little attention.

Early in the morning, I was waking up with my grandpa to feed my favorite creatures and to collect eggs. I loved them like they were my babies or friends.

My most exciting moment was when baby chickens were ready to be born and come out of an egg. I was attached to all of them. They gave me the motivation to wake up at 4 or 5 am to bring them water and seeds and listen to their “conversations''.

They all were growing up very fast and I gave them names to play with them. I used to call them by their names every time I feed them believing they listen to me instead of reacting to the food I brought.

I truly believed our friendship would help them to deliver more eggs, which means more food for my grandparents.

Now is the moment

When my chicken-friends grew up and became old, my grandpa told me: “Now it’s the moment”.

He asked me to join and help him. I didn’t know what “the moment” meant and what he was aiming for, but I joined him. I was sure he meant that I was going to play with my chickens in a different way.

My grandpa told me: “I know how much you love them and they love you for what you did to them as well. But sometimes in life, we have moments when we need somebody we love so much to let go. Because it’s time. It’s the circle of nature and human nature too. They will give us the energy to care for their children. The life cycle will continue.”

My eyes became bright and open, not understanding what he just told. Is he gonna hurt my friends? Noo...he will never!

Grandpa continued: “One day I’m gonna die as well, my dear. Will you cry about it? Probably yes. Will you continue your life without me? To bring forward what you know to live, to let the circle spin around?”

Sometimes you have to say goodbye

My dear grandfather made me see that you sometimes have to say goodbye to do better for the world. At a very young age, I learned in a hard way to take out all the feathers and clean the skin of what at that time was my friend.

I used a big knife to do it. The sharpness still terrifies me as now I am scared to cut myself. But was he right to let me do this and tell me this story? Or was he wrong to let me do what we do for thousands of years?

Do what’s right and good for the people and nature

My grandpa was a simple man from the countryside, but he was an authentic man of honor and loyalty and did what’s right and good for the people and nature.

He taught me to respect nature and be loyal to it. If you wanna take something from nature, you first care for it, give love, grow and rise. And there is gonna be a moment when you need to take away something you are so attached to, even through pain, to bring something new back.

Maybe we need to learn to understand the old wisdom that we can love so much but still have to let go… to continue. Sometimes we take to survive in order to care for humanity and the world. To give something better back, to run the cycle of life.

I learned that some sadness we experience hurt us a lot, but sometimes it’s for the better of all of us.

Change is an art and art enhances change. Do you like art?

Tanya Chayka Tanya Chayka
18-11-2020 5 mins read
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