I was hiking at the state park near my home.  The naked trees reached their boney fingers to the sky as the icy wind swirled.  Here and there a lingering leaf clung to a limb.  It shuttered in the winter cold.

I looked and thought of how often we try to hang onto that which is already gone.  The life sap has been swallowed in the roots and the leaf desires to delay its falling.

But, underneath, beaconing it, are millions of other kin who have begun their destiny of decay.  The aroma of wet brown humus rises from the soil as the ground is enriched by the summer life of the leaves.  The roots welcome the life of the leaves back into the cycle of renewal and help prepare for new life to emerge in the spring.

So often we desparately hang on to life the way it was, hoping that we can avoid the letting go--hoping we can delay the inevitable. But, when life has moved on, space is created for new life even as the memories of the old nourish our hearts and soften our souls.  We are enriched to welcome new life and discover that love awaits us when we make room for that which we have not yet known.

Holidays are times of tension between the longing for the way things were and the discoveries of the way things will become.  Can your memories fall and become nourishment for your new life?