The trees have sealed the spots where the leaves are attached, not allowing fluids to flow in and out of them, which change color and fall off. The falling of the leaves does more than mark the season, it also helps the tree survive the cold, dry air of winter. Humans are also preparing for the dropping temperatures of the colder months. Where fire places are lit, winter blankets make their resurrection and even men’s hearts grow cold with the heightened stress and violence that occur during the holidays. As November eases its way in and we prepare to wrap up another year, my thoughts settle upon change.
It’s not always easy to embrace change. It is something that happens so frequently in our lives and yet remains something new; moving in and out of our day with the same glide as oil to a pan. Starting with a puddle and then auctioning pieces of itself off into different directions. This is not easy for us to do; to forgo tradition for a road less traveled by. To be reborn in a way that blows our minds and challenges us to become different. To think and to act in a way that is new; to adapt to a foreign idea or practice.
Those crippling brown leaves, the ones that have hardened across our front yards, begging to be burned or thrown into the trash are not pleasant to see. But if the tree did not embrace the change coming upon it, sealing the spots where the leaves grow, it would die. When spring brings warm air and fresh water, the tree will sprout new leaves and start growing again.
Like the unmovable tree, standing so bold against the bite of winter, and naked with vulnerability, I challenge you to change your routine for the sake of incorporating a new experience into your daily lives. Mine will be getting back into my workout routine, and cutting back on snacks.
While change can be difficult, it comes with a kind of strength that can only be experienced to define, and has the potential to open us up to endless possibilities, causing our minds to stretch beyond the limit. Embracing change, in short, frees us from the captivity of routine, and the stagnancy of ritual.