Letting go of Last Year’s Growth
I don’t know if it has been the gloomy skys or what lately, but I am struggling with feeling icky and fatigued. Kinda tired, kinda blue, yet still very content with life. Just feeling funky and fatigued. I thought going for a walk would help, but not just any walk, I wanted one where I could enjoy God’s creation around me. Trying to get time away for myself is quickly becoming a priority on my list. I would have loved to have gone to the farm that I grew up on and walked there, but yesterday, a trip to local nature park would have to suffice.
It was the first time the sun had showed intself in days, maybe even weeks. When the sun doesn’t shine for days at a time it seriously complicates my mood. I decided to go to the local nature park while one of my oldest daughters was in band rehearsal. A walk to shake off the winter blahs I thought. It was my first real walk in months. Lately the weather has been a series of grey days with little to no respit in between. Even Easter was a soggy mess.
I start hiking up the hill of the main trail of the park. (I live in TN, hills are a requirement of real hikes). I make a conscious effort to take in all of creation that is around me. I am amazed at how the sun’s soft, afternoon light is so beautiful through the trees. Trillium is starting to come out. There is a patch of flowers among the trees– their white buds drooping; soft rays of light shining directly on them for their moment in the sun. I continue along the path and notice how green the underbrush is getting. Color is coming back into a world of grays and browns. Trees that have been naked all winter have small buds that will birth themselves in the coming weeks making the canopy lush. But for now the canopy above me is bare.
As if to retort my thinking, a single beech leaf falls and brushes against my face. I look around. The beech trees have held onto their leaves throughout the winter months. Holding on to the old. It will take this year’s new spring growth to push out last year’s withered, dry leaves. But the tree holds on. The leaves crunch with their dryness, their lack of life. And the tree still hold on. Unlike other trees whose branches are open and ready to accept new growth, the new growth of the beech tree will have to push last year’s growth out before it can continue and mature.
I am struck by the irony of how, as humans we do the same thing as the beech tree. We hold on to the old, the familiar. We do not let go of the old and make way for new growth. We hold on tightly and may even put up a fight to keep the old stuff in place. Stuff that will keep us from growing. People often prefer a known evil to what is unknown. It is time in my life for some changes to be made. I hope and pray that I don’t hold onto last years growth and have little resistance to this year’s new growth. The unknown scares me. I know this upcoming year is going to be full of unknowns for me and my family. Elizabeth is to start kindergarden this fall, which probably means the end of my days as a stay at home mom. On the other hand, my working could be a good thing and we could buy a bigger house–another change.
Today as you pray, pray not to hold onto last years stuff. Let go of anything that could hinder this year’s growth. Sometimes that is a hard prayer to pray because this year’s growth may not all be full of pleasantries. Some of it may be hard. That is scary. We want all good things to happen to us, but sometimes our best personal growth comes from the hardest paths we have walked. Pray for the willingness to walk whatever path will bring new growth.