A gleaner collects gradually

bit by bit.

I’m a sifter and a savorer.

It explains why I still have letters from a friend in high school.

Or why I walk around with days old coffee.

And why I am wearing a cardigan that was

once in the closet of my friend’s mom.

I’ve had it for 16 years.

It’s kind of like wearing a memory.  

(I remember movies, sleepovers,

singing and dancing in the living room.)

Or why I try to capture a moment,

create a feeling with words –

to keep it, forever. 

I try to frame it in a way that helps 

me remember what that moment gave to me. 

I pick up pieces, words, moments, decisions

and hold them. 

Sometimes the right thing to do is let go 

And sometimes the right thing is to keep holding on.

I am doing some gleaning. 

Holding in my hands, letting go. 

Holding in my hands, tucking in my pocket. 

Trying to understand what is meant for me 

and what is meant for someone else.

It’s part of who I am and who we all are really.

Through this process I am redefining

and reinforcing, over and over again

who I am, 

giving myself permission to let go, hold on.  

What about for you?

What do you need to glean this fall 

from the harvest, from what you have learned,

from what you know? 

What do you still need to know

but have not yet understood?

What are you carrying with you into

the next season of life

and what do you need to let go of?

It’s okay to change, to grow   

in fact I believe that’s what we are meant for 

and what’s necessary in order to thrive. 

Gleaning is part of thriving, 

a sifting to know what is a priority.

Gleaning is a way of embracing who we are

and who we are becoming.