An important process in the spiritual journey is the releasing of the things we hold onto that keep us or distract us from our communion with God. However, God is at work—constantly—reminding us and coaxing us and drawing us back to that deep and important relationship.

Nature is one of God’s best teachers! And autumn has wonderful spiritual lessons for us. Perhaps where you live, leaves are already starting to fall, or you remember that process and the exquisite colors of leaves about to let go. Nature soothes our fears about letting go by painting riotous colors of the leaves that are actually DYING. The trees show us how letting go can look—with scene after scene of leaves gently letting go (no violent ripping off), sailing and dancing and floating as they fly through autumn breezes on their way to the earth below.

Do you notice—no crashing to the ground…no heavy fall or thunderous landing…it’s all so gentle. It looks like fun—an amusement park ride, exhilarating and free!

Nature, our wise teacher, tells us we too have “leaves” we need to release…things that have been part of our lives or our way of thinking or of handling life’s challenges. And each autumn, we are given a demonstration of letting go. God shows us that the way of growth, the only way to NEW life, is to let go of the old. Like the wise tree, we must scan for the pieces that no longer serve us and that actually impede new growth, new ideas, and the emergence of new aspects of our true self.

This autumn, as we watch the leaves floating free and landing gently on the ground, let us ask ourselves: what attachment keeps me from freely following God? What am I clinging to, other than God, for my safety, strength, or support? What behavior or reactions are old leaves that my soul has outgrown? Enjoy the fall!!