Monday, October 27, 2014

And The Leaves Came Tumbling Down

Driving down the road near my home the other day, I heard someone in the car remark,
"look at how sad the trees look without their leaves." I was looking at the same view, but what I saw was something completely different. What I saw was a living thing that had let go of the dead things, the things that it no longer needed, and had settled in to focus on sustaining itself through the winter by pulling up from its roots what it needed to come back next spring reborn and renewed.

I often wonder if society looks at older people the way my friend looked at that tree. I suspect that many do. They see skin that has taken on wrinkles or grey hairs replacing the once colorful ones. They see lives that to them represent someone who is no longer useful or that no longer has anything to contribute .More often than not they look right past the person as if they were invisible.  If they only knew how wrong they were.

Like the trees, I like to think that as we move into our "Third Age" (a term I prefer to aging or senior), we shed what we no longer need or what is no longer important to us and dig down deep to find our nourishment and sustenance from those places within us, our spiritual centers and personal experiences, that flow up from our roots to blossom new and wonderful things in our lives. What are the things that sustain us through all of the storms of our lives? What experiences have shown us what to let go of and what is worth keeping?

For me it has meant letting go of people and places that robbed me of my energy, and beliefs that kept me from growing and blooming. Once they were gone, there was plenty of space available in my life for new ideas, new experiences and new people who let in the light of infinite possibilities. Sure, sometimes it was hard to let certain folks and beliefs go especially if they had been with me for a very long time. It was much like when I picked the last few veggies on the slowly dying plants in the garden and left the rest for the critters and to go back into the earth from whence it came. After the time for winter's sleep has come and gone, new and healthier plants will take their place and nourish me once more.

This morning I woke up to more trees that had shed their leaves after a very windy rain storm last night. I was sorry to see all those beautiful leaves go, but I thanked them for the gift of color they had given me and wished them a healthy, well earned sleep until next year when they came back brand new and ready to take on the world.

And so it is.