As autumn takes hold of the Nova Scotia landscape, trees release to the wind the leaves they’ve nourished since springtime. When frosty days come around, it’s time to let go.
Though we don’t have leaves to lose at this time of year, perhaps we too have things to release in this season of change…
Letting go of expectations is a good start. So often we hold such firm expectations of what life should be like at any given stage, how others should be, how we should be, that we fail to see the what is. Who would have thought a fungus could have petals or a log could hold a snowflake?
Wild creatures seem to have so much less of a problem than we do leaving possessions behind that no longer serve a purpose. It’s odd that we’re the beasts who fiercely hang on tooth and nail to clothes or homes we’ve outgrown and objects that would be better put to use by someone else. Who’ll find comfort from the winter cold in this abandoned flicker nest?
It’s not the daily increase but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
~ Bruce Lee
While summer’s abundant blooms shout out “More is more!” autumn’s Michaelmas daisies whisper wisely “Less is more.”
What about past successes? Don’t the things we’ve done well in the past tug at us to continue to do more of the same in the future? Letting go of these might seem ridiculous unless we consider the toll of doing work that does not fulfill or that may no longer be an expression of who we are now in this new season of life. A tree that foolishly clings to its beautiful, brightly colored leaves may be completely destroyed in a wind or ice storm.
Perhaps this letting go of our concept of self is the most difficult. Just as it’s easy to define a tree by its showy leaves, it’s all too easy for us as well to define ourselves simply by our outward skills and talents. We are so much more and still full of surprises, at any age. Hey, where did those raspberries come from so late in the year?
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
~ Lao Tzu