AND Forth

November 9th, 2014

As I was walking in the damp aftermath of a Nor’easter, I noticed the changing shrubs. Most of the trees have shed their leaves and the shrubs are either vibrantly welcoming the cooler temperatures or browning, as they go dormant for the winter. What struck me, in particular, was the awareness of how gradually the seasons shift from one to another.

As summer ebbs, there are gradually more cooler nights, then cooler days, and after that, only the occasional warmer temperatures, reminding us what we leave behind and what we can now welcome. AND as the cooler nights gradually give way to cold nights and then cold days, autumn will fade away and winter arrive. Unlike the rapid change produced by fire, the change of seasons follows a gradual oscillation, more akin to the ebb and flow of the ocean, back to the outgoing season and forth to the upcoming season.

AND I found myself thinking about how we make changes in our relationships and life decisions, as we age. We may recognize things that we need to release, attempt to release them, and then shift back to the familiar ways, questioning ourselves and allowing the old reentry. If we recognize the process of letting go completely, the oscillation can feel natural, maybe even reassuring—as long as we stay focused on shifting towards what it is we welcome in our lives.

Sometimes, it is a season to release in order to create the space to go inward and see what wants expression. Other times, it is a season to plant the seeds with clear intention for what we want to create and nurture in our lives. Still other times, it is a season to try new things, embrace the unfamiliar and welcome feelings of discomfort until they become familiar.

Leaving a job or other relationship may feel sudden for some. It is important to recognize that the physical leaving is not enough. The release is not complete. What follows is the emotional and mental letting go, often taking a much longer time to complete. Fostering anger or frustration that things did not go as we would have chosen is part of the holding on to the season that is ebbing, when it is time to shift to the flow of welcoming the new.

As always, nature is a wonderful guide or reminder for ways to embrace seasons in our lives and changes that are unfamiliar. Nature offers lessons on releasing what is no longer vibrant or life-giving in order to grow and flourish. As we oscillate back to the old, in doubt, let’s remember to focus forth on what is unfamiliar and yet to come. There is much to embrace in moving towards an uncertain future and natural part of the journey.

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