I love seeing my plans unfold just the way I want them to, letting go of what doesn’t come to fruition is hard (and boring). Striking off those unsuccessful hopes feels so passive, compared to the satisfying push of making things work. Autumn is all about letting go, and if I don’t join in I’m just fighting a natural cycle, and swimming against nature is exhausting and a little foolish…
The pressure of Winter’s big cold hands will soon push and shape everything ‘in’ and ‘down’; molding floppy unformed clay into something small and simple. Winter is the first season in a new cycle, when quality raw materials begin gestating for a New Year. Autumn prepares us, by throwing off deadwood before the big squeeze, so our load is light and workable.
I think of a traveling gypsy this time of year, with their knapsack slung light over their shoulders, ready to march into the dark. They take only what they need, as what starts out a little heavy can become a burdensome weight overtime.
Letting go of what didn’t work this cycle can be tricky; browning failures succumbing to the wind. These expectations however, are heavy things to lug year after year. Autumn is the time to reassess and sift, so you can carry some seeds of hopeful fruits, but let go of those that just didn’t take this time round. It may be things you had hoped would happen, career paths that just didn’t unfold the way you planned, or a comfortable old way of knowing yourself.
It’s certainly not about giving up, just being wise about where and how you spend your energy. I love it when things go to plan, but surrendering teaches me to adapt and be flexible. Nature doesn’t resist change by holding on. In fact, it’s this mass letting go of worn out leaves in Autumn, that feeds the undergrowth and inspires fertile ground.
Maybe letting go of that which doesn’t serve us anymore, is an act of giving too; all those worn out ways dust-panned up to feed new ideas and directions. They provide broader perspectives of who we are, round out the ways we know ourselves, and teach us resilience.
Letting go also helps us know who we are underneath our expectations. Besides, a tree is still a tree without its leaves.