Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Letting Go…

Though the calendar indicates a few more days of summer, here in this rural northern clime, the long slow pageant of Autumn has begun. Rich, vibrant color is creeping into the palette of greens the trees have worn all summer. Mums are for sale at all of the farm markets. Soon the leaves will begin to fall from the trees and leagues of tidy, diligent, homeowners will pull out their rakes. There is something picturesque about piles of fallen leaves in neighborhood backyards.

In the small pretty village near our home, residents sweep their leaves, bag them, and leave them on the curb for several a special pick-up. The department of public works will tend to the task of turning the leaves to mulch and compost for community gardens. Out here in the country there are other possibilities. Some folks still rake and burn their leaves, scenting the air with nostalgia. Others, rake and compost their own leaves, and conscientiously top-dress their gardens.

We have very few trees on our own little plot of countryside, since our property was a cow pasture before we took up residence. The few trees we have drop their leaves, serenely unbothered by what will happen next. The pear trees in the Orchard Garden drop leaves of a delicious shade of apricot that puts the greenish-brown fruit of late summer to shame. Our maples blaze in fire-kissed shades of red, orange and yellow. This year our new Thundercloud Plum will drop leaves of crimson and purple on the flower bed and across the front porch. Like the trees, we are serenely unbothered by what will happen next. We let the wind sweep the leaves away. Time and sunshine, as well as autumn rains and winter snows, will ensure that the leaves eventually enrich the Earth.

We are all so worried about eliminating clutter in our homes these days. There are countless articles and television segments on the subject. For some of us, no matter how hard we try to combat the situation, more clutter appears and seems to grow on tabletops or in the corners of our rooms. I wonder if our struggle with physical clutter is an outward manifestation of an inward battle with the clutter in our psyches? Who wouldn’t rather rake, bag up, and send away their most difficult memories? Wouldn’t things be more beautiful within our minds, more peaceful and uncomplicated, without the issues and frustrations of the past?

I try not to spend too much time worrying about my own psychological clutter. I watch the circle of the seasons, try to stay connected with the cycles of nature, and realize that if a little fallen leaf debris will enrich the Earth, a little hardship must certainly enrich my soul. I can’t even pretend to be “serenely unbothered” by the trials and tribulations of my life, but each year as I watch the trees release their leaves with perfect grace, I get a little bit closer to letting go.
photo by Haiku, 2006

4 comments:

karlanee said...

"The few trees we have drop their leaves, serenely unbothered by what will happen next."

What a colorful way to describe autumn! I love it!

Aisling said...

Thank you! I had a little trouble with my blog this morning. Seemed like it was putting my latest post in the archives but not the main page. So, I'm glad you found it! And, I'm glad you enjoyed it. ~ M.

Senryu said...

Kaa-san,

Tell Haiku-chan that her flower picture was most loverly! ^..^ As are yours! They are, perhaps, my favorite aspect of you having a blog. I have -NO- nature here, and I really, really miss being able to take a book outside, climb a tree in the backyard, and just leave our world to the rest of humanity for a while. I've taken what nature pictures I can, and I think I'll go post them on my Livejournal now. I have a lot of pictures of stone staircases... I want very much to write some of them into a story, only I can't quite think of the plot. Still, it's there at the edge of my mind, and I have full intentions of making use of it. What else is a mind for, after all?

Not all of the human race sees this my way, I know. *le sigh*

Aisling said...

All of a sudden those stone staircases are going to spin themselves into a story and you'll be there to write them down! I can't wait to see your nature photos. Haiku has several Autumn photos to send your way. I'll remind her and pass along your compliment on her photos here in my blog.

Also, thank you for your nice comments on mine. I'll need these flower photos in the dead of winter to remind me that the garden will bloom again! :)