“Letting Go To Grow”


By Howard Lovely, Jr.

Both the absence and the simultaneous possession of control in my life is a baffling and profound paradox much like a green leaf on a tree flapping in the wind. The tree has control of the leaf in so much as the internal biological process of photosynthesis but simultaneously has no control of the movement of the leaf due to a gentle breeze which is an outside force. It’s spring time and that means new growth visually and a type of “letting go to grow”, in the plant and animal world. Last fall the trees turned various colors from bright yellow, orange & red to earthy brown, then crisped up and fell to the ground. The grass and most other plants did a similar shedding of the old in preparation for new growth months later.  But before we all can see the visual effects of spring-time growth, the inner activity of a seemingly “doing-nothing” tree or plant has been subtly busy. A lot happens internally all winter during the so called “dormant” period. What if I began to think of my life, mental illness and time alone in isolation at home as a type of weird human dormant period. A seemingly vulnerable nakedness of sorts much like the silent and leafless tree branches in the middle of winter standing alone as an individual but still among many other silent trees. I’m capable of sprouting new “leaves” within my mind and I will socialize and converse with other individuals at the appropriate time much like the chattery whispers of tree leaves in summer time. This is how much of my personal healing process has been thus far,….that is to say,…..shed a little bit,….renew and grow a little bit,….etc.,. It’s a seeming long process with profound rewards of inner beauty and outer spectacle of a colorful “leaf-life”.

There is and old saying that I am reminded of as I continue to heal mentally,…..: “A bird weaves its nest by going and coming”. Because I have bird feeders in my backyard and the occasional robins’ nest,…I know this saying to be true in the most practical way possible based on [observation], yet I can only speculate about its deeply profound implications in terms of my human predicament and the role the concept has played in my healing process thus far. I’m beginning to believe that being healed is not a “destination” much like the completion of the bird’s nest. It’s not something for me to achieve and then saturate myself in it for the rest of my days,….rather,Robins' Eggs (American Red-Breasted)…….potentially it is an enormously gentle and slow process that alternates subtly between healed-days & challenging-days, healed-moments & challenging moments. I have to discern which days are which for me and break out of the “shell”.

2 Responses to ““Letting Go To Grow””

  1. GadflyGirl said

    Beautiful, Howard. Thank you for sharing your beautifully written contemplation, as well as the nest with eggs! ~Jane

    • Hi Jane,…..
      Thank you.
      I’m pleased that you enjoyed the post and I trust that it(writing & photo) inspired your own thoughts on the matter.

      Howard Lovely, Jr.

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