Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Wise Old Tree

"When autumn arrives, the trees do not cling to their leaves."

Nature has a great way of recognizing the right thing at the right time and with no sense of attachment, letting go when that time comes to an end. It's November and all around me I can see a carpet of leaves, lying deep red and shimmering gold on the ground. 

For months they have been the trees' faithful servants, collecting sunlight and turning it into energy for growth. The trees remained deeply connected to their tiny factories, exchanging nutrients and providing everything they needed to flourish. In return the leaves have provided the tree with vital stores of energy. 

A time to let go
Without leaves, growth would have been impossible, but as winter approaches, a failure to let go would mean almost certain death for the tree. As the cold weather starts to close in, water becomes less and less available and the freezing temperatures would decimate the leaves' cells. 

With little sunlight available for photosynthesis, the leaves would become a huge drain on the tree's resources before they eventually died and fell to the ground. Depleted and exhausted, the tree would most likely die too.

The signs of nature
Luckily the tree knows when to let go, it is a master of reading the signs of nature. It senses a change in the air and after two seasons of growth it prepares to drop its foliage. 

Before shedding it's leaves however, it absorbs everything it can use from them, all the nutrients it will need for future growth. After all, life goes on, the spring will come again and the tree must be ready to grow anew. Until then, the tree protects itself, forming a layer of cells to heal the wounds left by the departing leaves.

The past is not the future
It can be exhausting trying to hold on to things when the time has come to let them go. A situation that was great in the past may not always be great in the future. 

Sometimes the things that contribute most to our growth are transient, falling like autumn leaves just when we had grown used to their comforting presence. Without autumn though there can be no spring and without letting go there can be no taking hold. 

When we sense autumn in the air, what better time to start preparing for a new springtime of growth?

Image courtesy of neilalderney123


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