I saw it yesterday. On the green tree outside my kitchen window.
Leaves – all green. Except for the One Red Leaf. The only leaf, ahead of its time, proclaiming with a bold glorious transformation of colour that a new season is coming. The other leaves, not only on that tree, but on every other tree in the garden, are slower to make the transition from summer to fall. From warm sun and long days to chillier breezes and dark, coming earlier, staying longer.
Transition ….. can be almost overnight, like the stark and radical change of the One Red Leaf. A bold move. A Courageous Callout to the other leaves to anticipate the imminent change – Be First! Be fearless!
Transition can be slow, with an unnatural naturalness, gradually letting go, of all that came before, one inch at a time. A painful unpeeling of each finger of your hands off of what you held so tightly on to in the season you have been in. It can be a slow, beautiful and ugly, joyful and sorrowful metamorphosis from the colour you loved to wear so much and felt comfortable in. Slowly, even if you try and stay green, the yellow…and then the gold…and then the orange…and then the red just….Happens.
You are changing all the time.
The word ‘development’ means Unfolding. It is a process that continues uninterruptedly throughout a lifetime. We are developing and unfolding new colours and transitioning into new seasons all the time. Many times over. The reality is that we go through
A lifetime of transitions
From fearful to a little more Brave.
From weak to a little stronger.
From identity from others to claiming the “I” in our Identity.
Going through transition with grace and trusting the process is what makes us Clearer. Braver. Stronger. It’s good to grow. It’s good to change. It’s good to move to the next season. How do I know? Because I’ve been through many. Child, student, teacher, administrator, producer, musician, corporate exec, consultant, coach, writer, breadwinner, domestic engineer – some chosen, some chosen by others for me. And in each transition I grew. Had to grow. Had to learn about the “I” in my Identity that I could take with me through all the seasons. The “I” that I was finding in the losses of each season that preceded the new one.
We can fight against becoming the Red Leaf. Or we can anticipate the change and ask ourselves, “What if I had enough mojo to be the first to change?” What if, actually, I CAN.
Alice in Wonderland was a Queen of Transition:
“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar…
“I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present,” Alice replied rather shyly, “at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then”.
Several seasons. Several changes. Several transitions from our here to our there. But if we stay focused, on finding ourselves, we don’t have to think we are always losing something.
Eleanor Roosevelt looked back on her own painful life transitions and wrote,
“Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else’s life.”
The key to the journey is that we Own It. Moving with Grace on to the next season. Trusting. Bravely. To go with the Unchanging One. The One who has always been. The One who always will be. With us. Because he went through the transition from dazzling glory to the messy earth, on to the painful cross, in to the dark tomb, and then up to His Father. Forever. And there He waits for us, all the while with us – to be the Red Leaf that anticipates the next season. Will you be brave?