Ah … fall. With its glorious colors, crisp air and even some blue skies (finally!). In my pine forest backyard, some leaves have dropped, but many more are still clinging to their twigs and branches. How does a leaf know, I wonder, just when to let go?
With the changing of the season, I’ve been doing some letting go myself. We’ve driven out carloads of donations, hoping that items once enjoyed by our family will be useful to someone else. Old magazines, broken planters, our kids’ scuffed up rollerblades – more and more and more stuff is propping up the top of our trashcans.
Sorting and purging involves nostalgia. “That lamp came from my childhood home.” “The kids used to love that little table!” (“Shall we keep it…?”) Those times of rollerblades and toddler tables are long gone – not to return, except in the form of memories. For me, letting go of the tangible aspects of the past has an undertone of sadness.
But the process of clearing out also brought relief and delight. More open space. Less clutter. New possibilities. Even a discovery … I don’t need to cling like a most stubborn leaf, hanging on defiantly through wind, ice and snow, braced against the natural flow of life itself.
Surprisingly, though we rarely encountered the boxes stored in the recesses of the basement, as we disposed of what was stagnant and no longer needed, new energy has opened up. I notice feeling freer to indulge in longer meditations, take that walk I was putting off until I “finished,” write a note to a friend – the things that get pushed aside in a life with too much clutter and baggage. Sorting and discarding has enticed me to create more space in my daily life – less doing, more being. Very freeing.
Looking out the window right now, I see the subtle shading of light and dark on moss covered tree trunks, the rough bark texture, the gentle curves of oak tree branches and the vertical strength of the pines. Like the skeletal bones of the forest that are more visible with fewer leaves, I’m seeing more clearly what matters most. And the path has become more inviting.
Wishing you many opportunities to savor and enjoy the colors, scents, and bounty of this beautiful season, and your own chance to let go of what you no longer need. If you haven’t already, you’re invited to join our warm community of mindfulness practitioners that meets on Thursday evenings at 7 pm, Yoga for Living, 1926 Greentree Rd., Cherry Hill (pre-registration not necessary.)
Oh, and one last thing … please vote!