Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.
The autumnal equinox occurred last week but I hardly took notice. Our days have been exceptionally warm for mid- March. Yet, small signs are here: the return of the hummingbirds, fresh, brisk mornings, shorter days and, of course, the leaves. Below one tree lies a scattering of round lemony leaves, just the start of the tree’s shedding. We will not sweep them up. Not yet. The higher leaves of the liquidambar next door are blushing scarlet. Earlier today, a gaggle of brown, papery leaves scurried noisily down the street on a gust of wind. Where were they off to?
I can think of definite advantages of the ability to shed – to discard, like a snake, the old skin for a new one, but I must reconcile myself to an inner shedding, a letting go. It’s scary and uncomfortable to look within for what I need to wrench out, those tough, persistent weeds: shreds of old angers and resentments, lingering guilt, useless regrets, life’s detritus and vanities.
But how? I look to the leaves. No holding back there. They freely abandon their perches on branch and twig to blend into the soil below. It’s hibernation time for trees, a turning inwards to store energy for a season of new growth. No leaf or tree focuses on itself, but follows Mother Nature’s plan. If I turn my attention away from self towards the great oneness of which I am a part, then perhaps I too can feel an unburdening. Leaf by leaf.