Just as there are seasons in nature, there are seasons in life. In recent months I’ve been reminded how swiftly those seasons can change. So often we get caught up in doing that we can believe our activities are a measure of our worth. Slowly but surely I’ve recognised that there are times when we have to shed some ‘important’ things from our schedule to get through a change in season.
Something I’d never quite aligned with shedding until now was survival. Trees shed leaves so they can invest energy into the hidden processes that help them endure long, cold winters and, get this, prepare them for rapid growth when the winter passes. Leaves need to go because sustaining them diverts resources away from making that transition for surviving until spring. And this is where that connection between me and the deciduous tree hit.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle to drop duties or scale back involvement in organisations etc, but I recognise that when winter hits suddenly, a ‘shed’ is essential for self-preservation. Too often we judge people’s value on what they are doing, or can do but don’t. Perhaps they’re just in the middle of a long winter.
Deciduous trees are also a strong reminder that every season has a beginning and an end. Even though trees ‘scale back’ on leaves for the winter, they also know spring will come again and when it does, they are ready to burst forth new leaves and actively expand their canopy once more.
Maybe you’re also facing a season where it feels like you’ve had to cast off leaves by the bagful. Don’t feel guilty or think this is a reflection of your value or capacity. Often leaf shedding is plain ol’ wisdom. But one thing we must remember is to also anticipate spring, and when it comes, allow our lives to continue expanding into new things.