After a long hiatus in Colorado, I returned to Nebraska just in time to see the trees in their full Autumn glory. This is the time of year where the trees are commanding our attention after going mostly unnoticed all year. We love the colors of Fall, but what are the trees really showing us and are we giving them the respect they deserve for their wisdom?
I’d say trees run a close third, behind only the sun and water, on the list of our greatest natural allies. The exchange process alone of carbon dioxide and oxygen between trees and humans is enough proof for me that there is a grander vision than my limited view, and a Divine order to what seems like chaos in Life.
Aside from that amazing reciprocity cycle, trees have so much more to give and teach us if we are open to the blessings and messages. Here’s a look into the seasonal cycle of trees as a wonderful reflection of cycles in our own lives.
Spring represents birth, renewal and cleansing as the rain washes away the still energy of winter and nourishes the Earth for new growth. The trees are budding with new life and the air is fresh with young energy. So as for us, it’s a good time to start new. Cleanse. Clear out. Begin again. It’s like the early morning hours holding all the hope, potential and mystery of the day. It’s no coincidence that all my best projects and relationships have begun in the Spring. Have you noticed any such patterns in your life?
Summer is self expression in full bloom. The trees are showing us what it means to live life to the max. It’s like midday where we’re in full swing, the coffee has kicked in, we’re knocking things off our to-do list and have the energy to concur anything (I’ve solved many of the worlds problems during this time of day). This is also where we run the greatest risk for burn out. The summer sun can be intense, so we must remember to go at the pace that feels right for us, checking in with the health of our mind and body daily, slowing our pace if necessary. As Lao Tzu said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” This is also the time where trees provide the best shade from the heat. Enjoy and appreciate this gift by taking refuge in their cool comfort.
Autumn is another cleansing, shedding season. As the leaves fall, it’s a great representation of how we can take a look at all the stuff in our lives that isn’t bringing us joy and try to let it go – material possessions, negative thoughts, toxic relationships, addictions, anything holding you back from your best life. This is like the evening hours where we can finally relax from the day and look back on all that’s occurred. The trees are reflecting to us how beautiful transition can be if we gently release what is dead in our lives and not meant for us anymore, without judgment. That is the only way we can make room for new growth and allow in all that matters and brings us joy.
Winter is a time for going inward. Just as the trees are bare and we can see right through them, so to can we use this season of stillness and solitude to see through to our core. What we shed in the Fall now allows us see what’s left and decide if we like what we see. What isn’t working? What needs to change in order for us to be the best expression of ourselves? We don’t have to act now if it doesn’t feel right, just ask and listen. Be still and know. The Spring will come soon enough for us to put these answers into action.
And so the cycle continues. We must remember that Nature is billions of years older than we are, and at the same time we are not separate from the natural world and it’s wisdom. When we tune into Nature, we can see it reflecting to us all we need to know to live life the way it was meant to be lived. Let the cycles of trees be just one of the ways Nature shows us how to live a simple, easy, smooth, gentle life. Peace to you my friends. May you enjoy every temporary season of Life.