Ok here’s the thing about autumn. I used to tell myself it was my absolute favorite season. Maybe it actually was my favorite at one point. Having lived in Baltimore now for 16 years, September is still my favorite weather month here for sure. But these days my favorite season is summer, without question. No jackets or socks required to go anywhere! While I enjoy the slight dip in temperature that fall brings, it also- let’s admit it- brings a sense of impending doom. I’m happy to wear cozy socks and my orange fleece hoodie, but I’m giving my light therapy lamp the side-eye wondering when I’ll need to pull it out to give my face that boost of faux sunlight.
A few years ago when we were just starting up the Soul Center, I found this quote about autumn that I’ve included here at the top of this post. “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” Man, that’s a good one. I couldn’t find exactly to whom this quote is attributed, except that it may be a loose interpretation of German novelist and poet Hermann Hesse, who once said “Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”
Letting go is hard work! And this quote is so wise, yet so hard to actually do. It’s like an annoying wise friend who will tell you the truth to your face- you kinda want to punch them and hug them at the same time.
Our ancestors that we read about in Genesis had plenty of experience in letting go. Abraham leaving everything he knew to set off to an unseen land that Gd promised to show him, Noah watching every living thing get destroyed except what was on his ark, Isaac having to figure out how to love again after grieving the loss of his mom (that’s a spoiler alert for next week’s parsha). This letting go business is challenging, and I don’t really know anyone in my personal life who is able to delight in letting go. Do you?
But when we turn to nature- often our greatest teacher in many ways- we see this letting go and we cheer! We drive- sometimes far distances- to get the best views of the changing colors of the leaves. Can we take a note this week from the trees in our backyard and celebrate the letting go? Not just of nature, but of what’s happening inside our own worlds. The only constant is change, so let’s see if we can find the beauty in it.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, too, so feel free to leave us a comment below!