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A Lesson in Letting Go…and Community

“Make like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.”

…Rumi

In the dead of winter there is this temptation to  cocoon or numb our senses until the bumblebees and the butterflies and the flowers come back to us in the spring. But, each season holds its own treasures waiting to be unlocked by those who are awake.

Nature doles out its treasures, its wisdom if only we participate. We can grasp deep understandings of the cycles of our Mother Earth.

Something that I’ve personally been beginning to learn when I walk in the cold and the silence is that feeling of exhilarating peace. And joy. And, I slowly, I have begun to shed what is not needed…I drop those dead leaves.

What limiting beliefs, habits, or relationships are you perhaps holding on to that no longer serve you?

Those majestic Maples, willowy Birches, stately Oak trees, and the like have no trouble letting go of everything each year. They have an understanding on a deep level that new leaves will return when the time is right.

And, the really wonderful thing is that nature uses all those dead leaves to fertilize the ground around those very trees that dropped them. So…in the spring they become strengthened once again.

And, I just recently came across this wonderful short story written by a friend that I’d like to share with you…It’s about a Birch Forest…

It occurs to me that we are a lot like birches…

Birches often grow very close together. They actually prefer it. Birch trees don’t do nearly as well alone as they do together. Truth be told, they don’t really do a good job of putting down roots. What that means is that they don’t grow to be all that old…not in tree years anyway.

A Maple will live to a ripe old age of 150. An Elm, up to 200. The stately Oak will tower over us in acorned glory for up to 450 years if allowed.

Not so the beautiful but fragile Birch. If it makes 100 it is a VERY old tree. Without a good root system things just don’t survive. Something that big needs sustenance and stability. It needs something that will keep it secured and strong in the famine and the storms of life. Sound familiar at all?

Because Birches don’t do well with roots they rely heavily on the closeness of their fellow tree folk. What they may lack in the ability to grow roots, they make up for in their well-grounded desire for ‘community.’ You will often find them leaning into each other and growing around each other with branches intertwined. Birches need each other…and they seem to know it. Sound familiar at all?

So, wherever you find yourself during this Winter season…whatever sustenance is needed, whatever storms are raging…take time to remember. Remember your roots and revel in your community!

~ Brent Helwig

And the wind said:  “May you be as strong as the Oak, yet flexible as the Birch. May you stand tall as the Redwood, live gracefully as the Willow, and may peace and prosperity surround you all of your days.”