“Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend, unnerves his strength, invites his end.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” John Burroughs
When a tree is diseased or coming to the end of its life in the forest, it is often invaded by bugs, or consumed by mushrooms. Birds peck away at its softened bark weakening it even further.
When the winds become too strong against its branches, and the tree is too weak to stand upright, it falls to the ground. Parts of the highest limbs break off first, careening down to the earth.
During this season we call fall, leaves also change color and die, breaking free from their branches, releasing to the ground.
The miracle of the forest is how well it takes care of itself. Careening limbs from the highest point are often caught by the branches of other trees – decreasing any damage and slowing down the fall.
Leaves blowing in the wind find the surface of the water, other flora or the soft boughs of pine trees on which to safely land.
Tree branches and leaves only release when it is their time, when the cycle of life tells them to fall back, to re-join the earth.
My hope is that when you find yourself in the midst of a changing season in your life, you will look to the forest. Not only for a place to find peace and beauty, but to absorb its wisdom.
When your body, mind and spirit are invaded by losses too great to bear, let the earth support you. Let the natural time of each season help you to navigate your grief.
Let those around you form a supportive net in which they soften your fall and take care of you.
Allow your intuition to move you forward just as the wind moves the leaf. Let go only when the time is right for you – releasing your pain into the earth where it can fertilize seeds of new growth.
This is the place where your tears will nourish fresh life. Where your beauty, light and color will find new expression.