One of the best words we have to describe the season of autumn is bittersweet. It is a time of many moods, some sad and some inspirational. How can we not be moved by the dramatic changes of color, the cooler weather, the descending darkness, and the barren branches contrasted against the stark sky.
As we see time and again during the autumn, the trees shed their leaves as part of the cycle of renewal. This is a universal principle – in order to grow, we must release something.
This is true of our own bodies in ways we don’t even notice; we are constantly shedding old cells and creating new ones. If our physical bodies didn’t have this process, we’d have a much shorter life span, as the old tissues would wear out rather quickly.
Autumn’s energy causes us to take stock and decide what to hold on to and what to let go. This process may require you to practice forgiving yourself or someone else.
It may bring you new opportunities that necessitate making changes to accommodate them. It may bring up grief, even if you know that what you’re releasing is a good thing.
Although we must all let go of our past, we also integrate those experiences into ourselves as wisdom. The leaves that fall lose their form, but as they break down into compost, their transformed substance continues to serve the growth and well-being of the tree.