Hanging On

21 Jan

Monday was unseasonably warm in this part of the world. That has changed drastically in the past 24 hours, but the fact remains that Monday was a nice day. My nephew and I went to a movie, and, as I waited for him, I took a stroll through the yard. I studied the woods behind our house and noticed the contours of the land. It is a lot easier to see with the foliage off the trees.

That is when I began studying one tree in particular. My wife had mentioned it before, but this was the first time that I really looked at it. The tree is not in the woods. It stands alone in the yard. However, it stands out because the dead foliage is still hanging on.Yard Tree

How are the leaves still hanging on? We have had storms, rain, strong winds. Yet, the dead leaves remain.

Why are the leaves hanging on? Are they waiting to resurrect with the coming of Spring? Will they not have to fall off to make room for new leaves?

I know a few botanists, but I am not one. This could be a type of tree that does this every year. It could be a freak of nature. I do not know the answers to any of that, but the leaves on the tree made me think about people.

We tend to hang on to things. We hang on to life to the very end. We hang on to memories, both good and bad. We hang on to anger and hang on to grudges. We hang on to pain. We also hang on to love and happiness. We hang on to those fleeting moments when everything is perfect. I suppose all of that means that we hang on to the past because that is what makes us who we are.

I used to hang on to a lot of things and keep them bottled up in my mind. I hung on to mistakes and lucky breaks. I hung on to pain that I caused and pain that was caused me. I hung on to those empty moments when I thought there was nothing in my future. I hung on to the darkness that protected me from the world.

I do not hang on to those things anymore. At some point, all of those old feelings slipped away, and my mind focused on the present and the future. All of the pain and the scars vanished into thin air. The best part is that I know when that point was. It was when my wife said, “Yes.”

At that moment, the heavy burden of the past went away, and I did not have to hang on anymore. No matter how many mistakes I made. No matter what happened, either good or bad. They all led me to that moment and where I was supposed to be.

Everyone hangs on to something, and I hope that, at some point, they are able to let the leaves fall. I did, and new leaves, new life has arrived.

11 Responses to “Hanging On”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong January 21, 2014 at 23:32 #

    It’s snowing about an inch an hour right now, a foot or more by morning. I hate it.

    • Rick January 21, 2014 at 23:38 #

      It was in the mid 60s yesterday. Now, it is 21.

  2. El Guapo January 22, 2014 at 03:29 #

    I’m getting better at letting things go.
    I’m much better at not letting them bother me in the first place.

    • Rick January 22, 2014 at 04:50 #

      That’s probably the key. Don’t get bothered to begin with.

  3. satanicpanic January 22, 2014 at 05:09 #

    I enjoy your tree posts. Trees tend to put me in a contemplative mood myself. Something about their age and (relative to us) permanence that is fascinating. Sounds like things are going well for you too. Stay warm

    • Rick January 22, 2014 at 05:20 #

      Thanks. I don’t know what it is about trees. I will go a long time without noticing them. Then, it will hit me, and they pop into my mind.

  4. Andrew Petcher January 22, 2014 at 05:21 #

    Good post – nice piece of writing!

    • Rick January 22, 2014 at 05:23 #

      Thank you very much.

  5. jcalberta January 22, 2014 at 17:50 #

    Life seems to require that we ‘unlearn’ things before new stuff can go in.
    I used to have dreams that I was running to catch a bus. But I was carrying a lot baggage and I had to make a decision – leave some of it (maybe all of it) or miss the bus.
    I didn’t miss the bus – and I never missed the baggage either.

    But where was that bus going? … you might ask.

    • Rick January 22, 2014 at 18:08 #

      I hope the bus was going somewhere good. Where do you think it was going?

      • jcalberta January 25, 2014 at 09:58 #

        It was going somewhere very good, but I was being tested as to whether I would sacrifice some of my trappings to catch it.
        I think there’s no end to that ride though.

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