Autumn 2016 has been particularly spectacular in Vermont, the colors of the season prolonged by optimal weather conditions.
I have taken nearly every opportunity available to me to take long leisurely drives to enjoy it take it all in, and meditate, not only on the splendor of the natural course of change and transformation, but what it means to me from a more spiritual standpoint...Metaphysically.
I've asked myself, almost every time I've driven the past couple of weeks, what can I learn from all that I see around me? What deeper application is there here, other than simply "Fall Foliage"?
The answers to those simple questions have resulted in much soul searching and deep meditation.
Vermont is home to a large variety of deciduous trees, each leafing out in its own time in the Spring, each one in its own shade of green or near green, each with its own leaf shape and size, which identify it with the genus of tree that it is.
All growing side by side, harmoniously, with little concern of who its neighbors are or what they might be up to. They are content simply to grow, to be, to follow the master plan laid out for them.
Diversity at its finest. Is there a lesson for me in the harmony of the trees?
I have been particularly aware of the resplendent Maple trees this year. They have put on a display that few of us can remember in recent Autumns gone by. But this year, the brilliant color display has taken on a different meaning to me and been a cause for much introspection. There are lessons here with application to my life, my soul, my growth as a Spirit being having a physical experience.
In the picture I chose (taken along I-91 just outside Newport, VT), there is a glorious burst of color to the left center of the shot. All are maple trees, all very likely from the same original tree with its seeds carried by birds and the wind down through the years.
But when the time of transformation comes, despite being in the exact same soil, despite receiving the same nutrients, rainfall, sunshine and other "life experiences", they all choose to display very different colors, very different shades of the same color, or some decide to drop all their leaves early and just be done with it! And among the trees...there is no judgement of any of the other trees. They simply all do their own thing with little regard for what the others have chosen to do.
Why is it so easy for me to embrace my own change and transformational process, yet sometimes difficult to allow others to do the same?
Why the need to busy myself with thoughts of what the "other" is or is not doing? Why the need to offer advice or suggestions about how they might do it better?
Why the human need to judge, compare, feel less than, or superior to?
Why the need to believe all the lies above? These are NOT human needs...they are part of human conditioning.
We can choose differently. We have the power within us to change our thought patterns and thereby change our behaviors, our speech, our actions and to ultimately transform our lives and collectively raise the consciousness of our planet. Look at what the trees did to transform my world for a few weeks!
This year, and going forward, I choose to learn from the trees.
I will embrace change and transformation in me without worrying what you may be up to.
I will applaud your beauty and that of others, even if it is vastly different from mine.
I may decide to shine in all my beautiful colors for an extended period of time, or I may choose to just drop my leaves early and wait for the season of rest that Winter soon brings.
I will try my best to allow you to make the same choices without judgement, criticism or advice from me.
I will celebrate and embrace our diversity, knowing that together we make a splendid tapestry.
I look around and see what the trees did for our landscape, intuitively guided by unseen forces... Individually they transformed. Collectively, the transformations changed the world we view.
There are lessons here...if we have hearts and spirits open to listen.