I have always had a fascination with leaves and trees. Their varied shapes and the multitude of colors welcome us to venture into the mysteries and magic of creation. Life, as in nature, is full of cyclical patterns.
Trees have played a role in our existence since the beginning of time, and are found among many ancient traditions and cultures around the world, symbolic of cycles occurring in nature, the cosmos and spirituality.
The human history is full of beliefs, cultural structures and symbolism surrounding trees. Cultures like Shamanic, Pagan, Druid, Mayan and Celtic to name a few, all have used trees to symbolize life cycles in relation to birth and death, expansion and contraction of consciousness, healing and soul growth.
Trees are present even in the human anatomy; the arbor vitae is a tree-like structure composed of white matter that resides in the cerebellum. Arbor vitae in Latin means “Tree of Life.” We find a tree-like structure in the lungs as the alveoli, an arrangement of cells that enables the exchange of oxygen and carbon monoxide, giving us life.
Change happens! The world shows us that all things change and the four seasons and the trees are a perfect example of the healing nature of cycles.
Spring ushers the birth of new life in all creation, energetically transferring a sense of new beginning and hopes— the budding of new life, brimming with enough vitality and energy to break the cycle of winter. Life is then immersed with a splash of endless colors and vibrancy of the summer months, signifying the will to set goals, to grow and prosper, followed by the foretelling of an end soon to be.
Fall is transformation, the time to gather all we have learned and conquered, mimicked by the brilliance of nature and all the creatures as they prepare for a latent period of rest and undoing. With the shedding of the leaves, the trees release the source of nourishment trusting in the unknown, trusting that a period of growth will soon follow. No sense of abandonment or loss here as the tree sheds its leaves, neither for the leaf as it lets go of its only support and anchor.
Nature shows its full power of regeneration and re-cycle, where everything is useful and has a purpose. The sadness that comes as the winters signal a time of rest is a reflection of the sadness we feel with any loss. On the surface, a loss is a barren land, void of colors, hope, and nourishment. Underneath the cold and frigid land, lies a thriving ecosystem full of life, hidden from view, dormant for some. Loss is the destruction aspect of the cycle of life. It will take everything away. But what will always follow is a cycle of regeneration and growth.
The cycle a leaf goes through is a perfect example of the changes we often face throughout our lives. A leaf is born whether or not it knows it will die soon. Even with that knowledge, the foliage comes in, participates with life and contributes to the health of the tree; from the initial cycle of transforming sunlight to nourishment for the entire tree and the rest of its leaves, to the letting go of belonging to the infrastructure of the tree, releasing all attachment to life. The last cycle of the leaf is the destruction cycle, where the leaf will decompose and release all nutrients to the soil, providing continued support to the health of the tree throughout the winter months, forever present and connected to the creation process.
As humans, we often label experiences with terms of good and bad. Yet the cycle of creation demands all its aspects including change and transmutation; both need participation and a willingness to take a step towards the unknown. The well-known leap of faith. What stands in the way for many is fear of the unknown.
Knowledge is shrouded in mystery; there is always something that lies beyond our understanding. We must be ready to welcome and recognize the mysterious without knowing, and in return embrace new knowledge. There is always another door to open in the mysteries the universe holds, that lies beyond the one you just opened. The more we acquire, the more there is to learn. Opening a new door to knowledge brings expansion of the mind and a new set of beliefs.
The new knowledge pushes its way into the old knowledge, removing the unwanted. Getting rid of the old to make room for the new. Like the tree, life progresses in cycles of changes; some will be small and inconsequential, others life-changing and brutal. Destruction is a significant part of the sequence of change, reflected in nature in many ways.
Like all things of the universe, constant movement governs cycles. Movement is the key, not physical but of the mind and spirit. Not doing creates more of the same, changes demand actions! Taking action and a step towards the unknown is scary but bound to produce profound results. Have courage; be daring, take that first step!
Simona Manenti is a Spiritual Healer, Teacher and Motivational Speaker. She demonstrates profound, liberating and life-changing Healing, through the guidance of Spirit Guides, Angels and Divine Beings. Through spiritual guidance and valuable tools, she outlines your past by shining a light on one’s inner world of limitations and fears, developing knowledge and understanding of one’s obstacles that lead to the awakening of all your potential and possibilities. Simonamanenti6@gmail.com, www.simonamanenti.com 215.350.6915