"i think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep. … imitate the trees. learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain … sit it out. let it all pass. let it go." ~~ may sarton

for many this is a time of disquiet and depression. the dark becomes an oppressor. while the plant kingdom retreats and withdraws, our culture has created a time of frantic activity and dazzle. this time of year seems to create more stress than joy, more anxiety and generosity, and more sleepless nights than restful ones.

for others it is a time to slow, a time to be, a time to quiet. it is the sabbath of the year, a time to reflect on the glories of life itself. it is truly the time of “renewal and sleep”, the darkest days and longest nights.

we seem to have created this as a time of acquisition, of conquest, of commercial nausea. meanwhile, other beings, with whom we live, are hibernating. the flowers are long gone. the sap withdraws and the branches are naked to the wind and rain.


can we “imitate the trees”? can we find our root strength, the ground on which we stand? can we make choices that reflect our wisdom and experience to honour that which might need renewal, that which might need a pause? can we “sit it out”? can we be with the pain of loss, whatever the loss may be? can we be with difference?

letting go, as the leaves do without effort, is one of the lessons of conscious ageing. can we let go of the old paradigm of ageing in order to create a new one? can we see ourselves as agents of change? can we let go, each of us, of our internalised ageism, our view of ourselves as without value?

we can. we must, if we are to live out our years with truth, authenticity, love, joy and compassion. this is truly a resolve with which to welcome the return and renewal of the light.