I mowed the back lawn the other day. The grass wasn’t entirely dry. Other parts of the UK might be soaking up the sunshine but that doesn’t always apply to the North of Scotland. It was the first cut of the year, so the grass wasn’t entirely short either. The council had just started emptying the garden bins. The blades of the mower weren’t entirely sharp. A storm wind had pulled the felt roofing off the shed so we might have been dealing with a bit of rust. There were things lurking in the long grass and as the mower hit the unknown, stones and branches and half a coconut shell that had once been a bird feeder swinging from the whirly gig, it didn’t sound entirely happy. but we pushed on.
There was a tractor in the field out back cutting grass. In the time it took the man to mow the whole field, I was still plugging away on my back lawn. If the pubs had been open, and the mower a person, I would have treated it to a pint or two.
You can understand then how I found myself on the sofa. I was hot and decided to forgo the half dozen rows of knitting I have trained myself to do if I’m sitting there. Wiping stinging sweat from my eyes I looked out of the window.
It was a breezy afternoon. The wind was tugging off the last of the blossom and spilling it over the lawn like confetti. Sometimes it feels like it takes the tree forever to erupt into blossom. It’s a cherry tree but doesn’t produce any cherries and each year I feel robbed. Each year there seems to be a few windy days just after the blossom has popped out and it is all too swiftly gone.
The tree has done with the blossom. It had done its job and the tree no longer needs the blossom. If I was a tree, I would delight in my blossom self and loving my pretty self that I would waste energy into holding on to my blossom. I would be battling the wind as it snatched the blossom out of my twig fingers.
Real trees know when to let go. They move out of the blossom stage and into another season of growth. All their energy is now spent on buds and leaves and soaking up sunshine. It’s as if the tree surrenders up those bits of itself that are no longer needed. Secret signals pass through the tree passing on t message that it’s time to let go. Something new is on its way. A new season of life.
I was listening to a message of surrendering on Sunday. There is so much that God wants to do with and through me. In order to be the best “me” that He can work with I need to do a lot of letting go. I have a life history that tells me “I’ve got this” when I haven’t. Everything I need to be the best “me” God has done.
If I was a tree and watching the buds punctuate the branch like fat commas that burst into leaves, I would say, “Wow!” Just as I like the pretty blossom me, I would like the leafy green me and as autumn arrived, I would be wasting energy again to hold on to my leaves as they bronze and rust. I would have another battle with the wind to stop it snatching them away. But real trees know when to let go. The old leaves have done their job and the tree moves into another season of life.
I need to learn from trees that there is a time for letting go, for surrendering the things that I am done with. There is a new adventure on its way, and I need to clear the decks. I cannot afford to be expending energy holding on to something that has done its job.
If I was a tree, I’m not sure whether I am blossoming, hatching buds, bursting leaves or browning them off ready for them to fall. I’m not sure whether there is a winter quietness on me of gathering and amassing energy for a new season. Maybe I’m all those things at once in different parts of my life. I pay careful attention to what Spirit says as He directs me life and I’m ready to respond.