|A matrix of bare branches as cloud faces look on.|
January 1st's new moon is the perfect time for release. When the moon is dark, it offers both a symbolic and energetic opportunity to let go of those things that are no longer needed. If you're reading this on the 2nd, as many will, don't despair. The releasing energy of the new moon is good for a couple of days before and after the new moon itself.
When I think about releasing, it conjures many images. One is of tree limbs in winter. For the most part, deciduous trees just let go and release entirely. When it comes time to shed their leaves, they take no prisoners. In a matter of a couple of weeks, they're fully transformed, releasing both the beauty, shade and drag of the leaves, along with their sun-catching and water-catching abilities.
The quality of their release is total surrender. And, like many of us practice, it's a cyclical ritual. The
trees know in every inch of their cellulose that what they release is being released for their full benefit and will be replaced with new leaves—leaves that are better able to soak up the sun and water...better able to fuel them than the spotty, dried up leaves they let go of. Those leaves served their purpose and performed their duty. But the tree needs to keep moving forward and expanding, so it sheds as part of that process.
|Neighbor's stubborn leaves.|
There are a few trees like that in the neighborhood. It's not necessarily a species thing. It happens to both maples and oaks, which are the most prevalent around here. And it doesn't have to mean that the limb is dead. More frequently it means the limb is stubborn, causing difficulty for itself (because the leaves keep that portion of the tree from receiving the limited sun of winter) and difficulty for others, because who knows when those leaves will fall and deface your well-raked lawn? Basically it prolongs the misery for all involved. For outsiders who don't know these particular trees and their issues with letting go, they look and think "WTF is wrong with you? Let go already! Get on with your life and quit clinging to this necrotic stain on your branches!"
Have I worked the metaphor hard enough for you to see what I'm getting at? :D
|New Year's Day sunset framed by bare branches.|
Oh, to learn to release like a tree! To just be clean and done with it and leave the detritus to the wind...or some fool with a rake. I don't actually rake my leaves anyway. I mulch them, either with a mower or a leaf mulcher. In that way, the leaves are transformed and used where they can do the most good, just as the universe transforms that which we let go of. The energy is put back into the universal soil to fuel new growth.
So here's the deal I'm going to make with myself tonight as I throw all the thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and even relationships that have outlived their welcome on the fire—I will not hold on to even a piece of them. And when I notice one trying to reattach itself to me, I will refuse to become host to its parasitic desires. As long as I hold on, that part of me cannot see the sun. It lowers the potential for transformation in that part of me. And it prolongs the misery for me and everyone else.
I'm sure plenty of new thorns will come along to implant in my side without those old ones taking up space. That is the nature of life and learning and growth. But along with those new thorns will come colorful buds, bursting with life. Then the whirlybirds that dance on the limbs before taking their spectacular, joyous and gentle fall to earth. And the the leaves that open up and receive the universe's nectar, feeding the entire tree. It's amazing the processes that are set in motion simply by letting go.