I love walking through the colorful leaves on the ground. A quick stroll this morning confirmed the pending arrival of the fall. Between the juxtaposition of the red sky, brisk breeze, and the random leaves drifting down, change is imminent.
We often correlate the word “fallen” with a negative undertone. We may say “the mighty have fallen,” or depict those who have stumbled, backslid, or are no longer with us. While these examples are real, expansion of the word covers many other areas of life and does not always have to be viewed as a painful experience.
What came to me was an invitation to view the leaves on the ground, not as something of value the tree had lost, but part of the natural process the tree undergoes to produce new, and possibly better, fruit.
It’s as if it instinctively knows that to continue growing and stay healthy, it must let go.
Letting go of the leaves still serving the tree wouldn’t make sense if it could think. They aren’t dead yet, and some will peak, becoming the most beautiful version of themselves they can manifest, right before drifting to the ground in an almost trivial way.
The tree and its leaves serve one another in synergy and splendor.
The tree, through its’ roots, provides nourishment for new buds to grow. The leaves deliver shade and homes for birds and animals. However, for the tree to continue to flourish and protect its root system during the lean, stark winter season, it must let go of the leaves that have come full circle in their life cycle.
What are the leaves in our lives that we cling to? The thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve us? Maybe they appear to still have a purpose or are just too beautiful to think of parting with. Yet, in sustaining them, we limit our future growth.
Rather than just seeing what falls away as something negative, we can adopt an understanding that in place of the things we let go of, forced or chosen, new growth will come later on.
Places, things, relationships, titles, careers, perceptions, and even principles are all examples of things we hold tightly to that may inhibit expansion. As we let them go, we make space for possibility, new ways of thinking, and experiences that may be a crucial part of our life curriculum. Seeing them in a new, inquisitive light may be all we need to realize the gift of the season of change.
Not everything that has fallen is meant to be picked back up.