Autumn: Letting Go of Our Leaves

Fall is my favorite season. I love the beautiful colors of the trees against the cobalt sky. I love the crisp, cool air. In Colorado, it is also the smell of roasting chilies sold at the roadside stands, fields of pumpkins and bushels of apples. (As you can probably tell, I enjoy eating.) After reveling in the glory of a beautiful summer, fall heralds harvest time. It is not just a harvest of good things to eat and enjoy, but a time to review the year to date and prepare for the inward reflection of winter.

One of my spiritual teachers many years ago said that fall was a time to “let go of our leaves”. What exactly are the “leaves” that we have grown throughout the year? What plans, ideas and dreams have come to fruition? That is truly the harvest to enjoy and appreciate.

Another point to consider: what are aspects of our lives that no longer serve a purpose? This could be something as simple as cleaning out a closet and getting rid of possessions we no longer need. Or it could be time to change careers. Is there a relationship that has no more growth potential—or worse, causes suffering? Like dried up leaves, these are aspects of our lives that we can release. The challenge comes in recognizing which changes are necessary now, and which ones must incubate through the winter.

We are creatures of the Earth. We ebb and flow with the seasons. If we can honor these cycles and live our lives accordingly, we can discover the harmony and joy that comes with each season.