Autumn is undoubtedly one of my favourite times of year (next to Christmas). I love how the hot, lazy days of summer suddenly turn crisp and cool, and there’s a current in the air as if the brisk weather spurs people into action. I love the memory of going back to school, carefully loading my backpack with freshly sharpened pencils and rubbery new erasers. I love watching the leaves turn vibrant – transforming into fiery reds, warm oranges, and pure yellows.
I was driving home the other day, admiring the trees, when I began to think about the notion of “letting go.” Every year, without fail, the trees let go of the leaves that they so lovingly nurtured throughout the spring and summer. There is no use in holding on – the leaves would not make it throughout the winter, and they will return next year. There’s something to be said about that, isn’t there?
In our lives, we have a tendency to hold on, to gather, to accumulate – for what? For fear that without these items, these objects, these notions of who we are and what we can be, we will lose our selves.
We forget that we, like trees, are rooted into the earth that nurtures our souls, and that is all we ever need. We forget that we, like trees, are beautiful regardless of our leaves, and we adorn ourselves with labels and jewels and makeup to hide the magnificence of our stark and naked innocence.
We hold on to every hurtful word that’s ever been hurled our way, building a fortress to surround ourselves from those that carve their mark onto our tree bark – never realizing all the while that someone will find those marks one day, and admire them, and call them beautiful.
We convince ourselves that we are alone, although we, like trees, stand tall within a forest of our brothers and sisters, who have grown from the very soil that has cultivated our existence.
We allow our failures to define who we are, we become so quickly disenchanted when we don’t get what it is we think we want – forgetting that we, like trees, are always growing taller and reaching for the stars.
We could all stand to shed some leaves, to let go of some of our belongings and judgments and hurts and disappointments. Let’s allow our leaves to make a beautiful and gracious exit, for a tree is no less of a tree when it stands bare-limbed and alone.