Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

The Beauty of Release

I was walking in my neighborhood this morning, strolling beneath a canopy of brilliant fall colors, kicking rainbow leaf confetti on the sidewalk. A breeze shook loose more leaves that swirled and drifted down.

Energetically, autumn is a time of gathering, bringing in the harvest, storing our resources for the winter. In the Chinese five element system, this season is associated with the lungs, and with the emotions of courage and grief. For some people it can be a time of melancholy, as the darkness overtakes the light. As we enjoy the fruits of summer’s labor, we also grieve the loss of summer’s frolic.

Each season, each cycle of our lives, is a letting go of what is past and a welcome of what is to come. Some of us, though, are reluctant to let go of what is no longer ours. We grasp at memories of the “good old days,” we cling to children who have grown, we mourn our youthful bodies, we yearn for love lost.

Letting go takes courage, the very courage that this season offers. We need look no further than the trees. Not only do the trees release the leaves that have served their purpose, but they do so with a dance of splendor to give thanks for blessings that the leaves bestowed.

So breathe in the courage of the trees, delight in the gifts of what is past even if there is a tear in the midst of gratitude. And like the trees, softly release the beauty of what has served us well.

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves. ~Virginia Woolf

14 thoughts on “The Beauty of Release”

  1. For me this summer, letting go has meant trusting that as God heals me, I don't lose the memories of the good times, the constant companionship. I am struggling mightily here.

  2. This is my favorite season of the year, but it has melancholy as I watch the leaves fall. Your post says it so well, Galen. I definitely am having a few tears, but mostly they are tears of gratitude. 🙂

  3. Autumn is the perfect symbol for letting go of the past and embracing the future, whatever it may bring. I don't focus on the days getting shorter, and the skies darker, but on the splendor and radiance of the leaves changing colors in celebration of a life well lived.
    Blessings, Galen!

  4. The five element system makes some interesting pairings, like courage and grief. You would think that grief might be paired with joy, but here I think the focus is on the courage to grieve and let go. Gratitude eases the struggle of release and comforts the pain. Thanks, DJan.

  5. That sounds like a wonderful experience, Galen.

    I was walking this morning and experienced a similar realization. The leaves are being released in all their splendor with a kaleidoscope of color. What a show!

    'And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves. ~Virginia Woolf '

    I love that quote.

    Life flows or cycles in and out of a multiplicity of forms. We are like leaves that appear for a season and then life releases it self from the outer sheath. The tree represents what is stable,the center core of being, the leaves represent the changing outer appearances and conditions lived in a material body. Our lives are a mix of the permanent spirit ( the tree of life) with its stability and the impermanent changing of the leaves. Our individuated and limited expression of life, displayed for a time, releases back into the source of life itself. We drop like leaves and return to the stability of the central tree of life.

    Life at best is very brief,
    Like the falling of a leaf,
    Like the binding of a sheaf,
    Be in time!
    Fleeting days are telling fast
    That the die will soon be cast,
    And the fatal line be passed,
    Be in time!

    -C H Mason 1866- 1961

  6. I love the changing seasons and the feelings that come. Each brings memories and nostalgic thoughts.
    I loved reading your thoughts and your last paragraph was lovely.
    Sending loving thoughts and hugs your way!

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