Yesterday morning before my session, I went for a walk through the forest. The woodland that held my grief day after day through the lockdown. While losing Anna. The trees that witnessed my breaking, my tears, my raw open heart. Back then the leaves were green and the sun was high in the bright blue, fluffy cloud sky. Now the sun is low and casts bright rays through the branches. The trees are beginning to so beautifully demonstrate their cyclical process of letting go. As their golden yellow and orange leaves fall, creating a blanket of muffled loss under foot, and the stark branches reach to the skies as if to scream, ‘look at how bare I am, look at how vulnerable and stark and empty these arms are… I’m no longer clinging on to what I once had… look how I have let go… now I am ready to receive what I need’… I am reminded of change.
The trees look so different now and so do I. I am no longer clinging to what I was losing, I’m witnessing it around my feet and I’m standing arms wide open ready to receive, ready to welcome the next part of my healing journey. While also surrounded by evidence of what was lost… and acknowledging that it helped me grow into who I am now. The leaves that cover the forest floor will decompose and provide yet more nutrients to the roots of the trees and in turn, the branches will once again produce fresh new shoots. My grief is fuelling my growth in the same way… and in time new green buds will form… in fact I can already feel the tiny flicker of something new and hopeful glowing just beneath the surface of my rib cage… and my roots feel grounded today in an awareness of the fact that I am still standing. That I have survived so many storms and so much loss. That my leaves were oftentimes ripped from my tightly grasping fists… too soon. And yet they did fall and I did feel empty and I do still cry out for what I’ve lost. And also, sitting alongside the pain of it all, is hope and potential and openness to a way forward. And gratitude.