⠀ Leaves | Leading The Way⠀
Living in California, we are learning to experience the Fall season in a slightly different way than our years in the Midwest. Waking up each morning, it is easy to imagine the familiar season of changing leaves and cozy blankets on the sofa. But by mid-day the temperatures are back up in the high 70’s. I see students walking to school in the mornings, excited to wear a sweatshirt bearing their favorite sports team only to be shed and carelessly dragging behind them in the 80-degree afternoon heat. Our trees are changing colors (…oh the beauty of a gingko tree in Fall) but it’s still warm enough to get outdoors.⠀ Poet, Jeffrey McDaniel observes: “I realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.”⠀ Transitioning into a new season brings up moments of reflection as well as goal-planning for the months ahead. What did I accomplish last season? How can I tweak that for a healthier space for myself and others?⠀ I have been studying the enneagram and how my personality tendencies play out. (hint: It’s not always admirable.) There are people I would like to go back and tell them how I didn’t know my words could hurt so completely. We ALL have moments of regret for how we handled relational situations at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, we cannot fix all of our past words, but we can be aware of them and make a concerted effort to be gentler in the future.
⠀ Carrying the regret with you into a new season, however, is stifling your personal growth. Taking a page from the physical world around us, what leaves do you need to release your grip on and let fall? What decisions? What guilt? Fall is the time of letting go.
⠀ You’ve readied the fireplace, making sure you have logs enough for the winter. You’ve washed all the throw blankets and restocked the popcorn. The DVR is ready for schmaltzy Christmas movies and the plants have been brought in for safe keeping. Taking your cue from Autumn readiness, what things do you need to let go of so that inward, infrastructural growth can begin to grow in preparation for the upcoming beauty of Spring?