November and Non-attachment


Looking into my backyard I realize how much letting go happens in November: chipmunks have moved to underground dens, letting go of their frenetic activity; oaks are releasing their grip on acorns now covering the ground; milkweed pods are opening to let the wind carry their seeds far and wide; and leaves are ending their rides on branches for one last trip downward. All of these are letting go of what no longer serves them as we head into the winter season.

One of my favorite autumn poems is by David Ignatow, and with it he brings perspective to all this non-attachment. Describing one leaf left on a branch he observe no sadness, despair, or unhappiness; nor does he hear it speak of loneliness or death. He concludes, "One leaf and it spends itself in swaying mildly in the breeze". I long to be like that one leaf, trusting the evolutionary flow.

Recently I was reminded that from an evolutionary perspective we are more like human becomings than human beings. Maybe the leaf gets it, that it is not just letting go and dying; rather, it is becoming something more. Isn't that the case for all in an evolutionary universe?

Aligning with the letting go energy of autumn, we might ponder these questions:

- What wants to evolve through me now? and now?

- When making a decision about letting go we might ask, "Will this choice enlarge or diminish my life?"

- Doesn't an evolutionary soul always open to a larger, more expansive life?

In an evolutionary universe there are no certainties, no absolutes. Do you find that intimidating or freeing? The practice of letting go is a practice of freedom. Why not choose freedom and a larger life, and in the present moment spend yourself swaying mildly in the breeze?

A final thought from a giant of evolutionary thinking Teilhard de Chardin:

"Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth". (Hymn of the Universe)

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