Surrendering with Presence
Usually I love the change of seasons, but this month I've experienced a lot of resistance. In a vain effort I find myself willing summer to stay and fall to wait. I wish to stay at the peak of warmth and full growth - I don't want to let go. Fall brings with it a sense of grief as the weather, sunlight and plants change. So much change, whether we want it or not. I want to hold onto the way it was, afraid to be "all in" the present.
When we resist change that's when it gets harder. If we don't listen to the quiet nudges, things get harder and harder, that's often when we finally decide to consider listening. Ultimately, how much fun it is to resist? Not for me, so I do not know why I even think about trying again now.
What strikes me as I see the landscape changing is how mother nature does not resist. There is not one shred of resistance in her. Time for fall? OK, drop those leaves! Spring is here? Pop those leaves! Imagine if there was resistance? Imagine if she held on tight to each leaf all winter. Imagine how damaging it would be for the trees and plants to carry the weight of their leaves plus all the snow? Imagine the energy lost trying to keep them green and alive during a frozen time? Would the trees even survive? And if they did survive what if they retreated so deeply into their roots in order to stay safe from that ordeal again, that they decided not to come out at all in spring? Is it not the same for us? How much energy do we waste trying to stop that which must happen? It sounds crazy doesn't it? So why do we do it?
Over the past few years I have become more deeply aware of how the ever changing seasons are an example of how to move through our ever changing lives. Each season brings with it its own inherent beauty, much like the seasons of our lives do. None are the same, and one cannot exist at the same time as another. One must be let go of for the next to exist. You cannot be married if you don't let go of your single life. You cannot ice skate on a pond if the pond is not frozen from winter. And if you try either without respecting the season you will find trouble! Space must be made for what is to come and if it's not made there is no room for newness - the process of change brings newness we seek.
My personal cure for this unwillingness to let go turns out to be becoming fully present in the season; whether it's the season of life or the season of our land, and experiencing its beauty. Walking through the trees as they turn, immersing myself in the way it is right now - not yesterday. In fearing the loss of it I want to hold onto tight so that it will be there again tomorrow for me to appreciate. That kind of tomorrow never comes, or when it does, it's barren and you've missed the opportunity. I well know this from my days with very young children. They will change, and no matter how hard it may be somedays, they will change, and they did, I deeply miss the way they were. But holding on is futile and only causes me to miss the beauty of who they are now.
So find time for a relaxed walk in nature this fall. If you are feeling some seasonal resistance (or resistance in general to letting go), by fully appreciating nature as she gives into surrender, so can we. Resisting ultimately creates much more friction and conflict than needed, and changes that are truly meant for us are always safe to allow. Balance and rejuvenation from the busyness and high energy of summer is found again in this season as the days and nights have equal length once again. We can let ourselves rest in that - it is easier to sleep earlier at night without the sun up so late, and the cooler nights help too.
Most of all we are reminded we can trust in the unknown and new changes life brings, and it is safe to let go.
It's easy to slip into fear of the empty spaces that fall foretells, but seasons change and spring returns, filled with newness and fresh energy, so I know I can trust in this season of letting go and empty space ahead, and know I will be safe <3