Dropping Leaves

leavesWhenever I become overwhelmed and confused by the magnitude of the transitions Nancy and I are experiencing, I find peace and reassurance in the natural world. When I”m hiking or walking, my conditioned mind isn’t able to hijack my attention as easily as it does when I am indoors. When I am closer to Nature, this habitual mind fades away into the spaciousness of Reality Itself and leaves room for the intuitive function of my brain; the arena of deeper and more natural wisdom. This intuitive function speaks in metaphors, sensations, and impressions – not always easy to understand, but nevertheless a language I am learning to appreciate.

The other morning I was walking along one of the historic trails in the Mount Shasta area. I was somewhat preoccupied with the difficulty of sorting through the “stuff” that fills our house – what to keep, what to sell, what to give away, and what sort of criteria to use in making these determinations. I passed a young Oak Tree that was growing right by the trail just as, with a sound like a hail storm, it dropped a rain of acorns and leaves. I stopped and stared at the tree as the sound faded into silence. After a moment, I turned to proceed along my walk. I had taken two steps when the tree let loose another storm of acorns.

I am learning the importance of paying attention to the movements of the environment around me, so I turned back to the tree, which was now once again silent and motionless. “What is it?” I asked.

In my mind the words formed, “You’re trying to sort and decide. Don’t sort – Drop! You’re carrying too much weight. You have to just let it go and it will drop away of its own accord. Just like my acorns and leaves drop of their own accord when they are ready to go on, so all of what you are carrying will drop away. Let it all go.”

“That is frightening,” I thought, “It seems like getting ready for death.”

“I’m not dying,” the Oak responded, “I’m preparing for the wonderful, quiet, renewing time of Winter, a time when I make room for the new strength from the Earth that will gradually fill me with the energy to bring forth something new, green, and nurturing in a few months. It’s the same for you. You can’t carry anything of your old way of living into the new life you’re beginning. Don’t sort, sell, and select! Drop!”

I continued my walk with a lightness of heart and mind that had not been there during the past few weeks. I didn’t have to sort. I just needed to let it all go. I can’t take it with me if I am to find the freedom I know this new time in my life is offering. Since that walk, it is like a logjam has broken loose. A neighbor bought our antique hutch and took it away. A friend may need some furniture. A consignment store may want to take a few things. But mostly, I am understanding that I am not trying to decide what to keep and what to let go of – I am not keeping anything!

Nancy and I are realizing that we are entering upon something entirely new. We are, like the Oak tree, dropping everything and letting the earth, the water, the air, and the fires of nature fill us with the energy to spend the rest of our lives in service for the nurture and healing of the Planet and Her Life. Whatever we need for that will come to us from the future, not from what we drag along from the past.

4 thoughts on “Dropping Leaves”

  1. Thank you. Only yesterday I was dealing with a set of items ready for release. “Everybody” entered the scene. . .my mother, my brother, my sister-in-law, etc. all saying, “How could you?????” Well, I finally exited the chaos conversation. I asked myself, “Who would want these ‘lovelies?’ The answer came, she was thrilled, and I was released. Today, I feel so much lighter. What shall I release today? (I probably won’t mention my decision to all of the “living” ghosts in the conversation! Who wants to explain?) Thank you for the wonderful metaphor.

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  2. I admire you and Nancy for your courage in undertaking your life, as well as your willingness to teach us by example.

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  3. I cleared out my attached storage area to make room as it was crushed with items. Many belonged to my grown children that they had stored with me (4 boxes of books from one girl and we do share that love of them). I came upon a box filled with lovely hand embroidered handkerchiefs and beautiful hand woven and embroidered fabric from Mexico and hand batiked cloth from Thailand that my father had imported through one of his businesses. I don’t sew but had kept them because of their intrinsic beauty and nostalgic hold they had on me. Almost like a touch stone of the past. I gave them to my neighbor, Molly, because she actually does sew and is making quilts. She came to over to my house holding some of the fabric close to her in her arms and joyfully expressed her gratitude for the gift. Beautiful leaves falling away and creating new patterns.

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