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