When we hold onto the things, places, and people that we love for too long, we restrict our own growth and evolution. We remain grounded like a caterpillar who refuses to transform, believing she would not be safe if she lifted off the ground and was free to fly.
Our planet is in a state of transformation. We are not alone facing growth and evolution. As a global community we are experiencing a rebirth. Rebirth is messy, painful, confusing, exhausting, yet fruitful. We are in the process of bearing new fruit to be enjoyed by all. But first we must go through labor pains.
Since Covid landed on our shores, I have been navigating a personal upheaval of growth and evolution. The deep loss of a child, a move to the Midwest, early retirement, and the vast profound loss of my childhood summer home, handed down since my great-grandfather’s passing. The two cottages now had to be sold. We could no longer afford the taxes.
They held places where I sat with my grandmother and watched Perry Mason, in black and white; where I braided her long silver hair, after she let down her bun for bedtime. Where our family gathered for meals in a Sears catalogue cottage on the hill overlooking blue Crystal Lake below and Lake Michigan, appearing as a bowl of soup on the horizon.
Places in my aunt’s cottage, where mom, dad, aunts, uncles and cousins gathered on the cement patio with their clinking cocktails, while us younger ones nibbled on nuts, olives, crackers and cheese. Where, as an adult, I watched glorious sunrises reflect on the glassy lake, inspiring me to write from the soul.
Last month, the great old cottonwood tree in the center of the hill finally released one of its large lower branches to the ground, no longer able to support the weight, the circumference of which was twice the size of my waist. Where we carved love initials in the upper branches, where we climbed higher for a better view of the lake. The tree had lived a long giving life, but had to be taken down for safety reasons. It had been planted generations ago on the site of an old wooden outhouse. Good fertilizer for growth. Its demise symbolized the end of an era.
In a recent acupuncture appointment, I asked my acupuncturist to set me up with needles that would allow for letting go or something of that nature. With needles in place, she dimmed the lights and left the room. As I lay there on the heated massage table, relaxing, I heard the word, “Surrender.” And then, “There is grace in surrender.” And then, “Let yourself be lifted from the old.”
That final phrase, I slowly realized, put a positive spin on the process of letting go. It indicated that I had been burdened by the old. And, in many ways, I had been.
It is time to break out of the cocoon, and be free to fly.