Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Letting Go

There is a tree outside my window...

This tree that shares our space, she's holding on.  

In the years we've lived near her, she has always been reluctant to let go.  It is a component of her essential nature, this predilection to the holding on.  She is tenacious.  She is consistently the last of the 16 trees in the yard to surrender her leaves.  

But eventually

with time and some providential coaxing from the wind, come some cold December day, one by one they drop.  She bids the dead foliage of yesterday goodbye.  

Bare the rest of the winter, she appears desolate, depleted to the naked eye.  
But reader, that is only to the casual observer.  

Because what she's actually doing is creating space for life.  Creating space for growth.  For movement.  

Because, without fail, buds emerge.  New leaves come.  New vitality

The letting go is the beginning of life.  The letting go IS life.  

But this year the tree resolved not to let go.  

Gripping tightly to brown deadened leaves, she held on through snow storms
Through sub zero temperatures.  
Through wind.  
Through icy rain.  

She refused to let go of the dreams of a foregone summer.  A season long gone and long forgotten by her cohorts who have already released it's invention.  

Soon the tree will have to make a choice.  
You see, spring is upon us.  New buds are already forming, the promise of something new. 
In order to make space for the new, she will have to let go of the old

There is no room to do both the holding on and the letting go.  

It can't be done.  She must let go.

But what if she didn't?  What if she decided that the specter of last summer must be preserved?  What if she refused to release it?  What would happen to the something new, forming even now as tiny buds on her branches?  

The something new would die.  
She would die, still clutching the dead leaves of yesterday.  

Because there is not space to do the holding on and the letting go.  

What will become of her, do you think, this tree who clings so tightly to what's been lost?  
Will she let go? 
Will she embrace the something new?  
Will she drop the dead leaves of the past so that she can grow something better?  

Let me tell you, friends.  I think she will.