Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

-by Robert Frost

I have been reading lots of posts and seeing gorgeous pictures on social media of Fall foliage. I’ve been wondering what is it about Fall that infiltrates my soul in a way the other seasons don’t. It could be that in Nebraska we can count on about six weeks of Fall.  Anything more is a gift.  So, its very transience demands our attention.

My mother was a high school art teacher when she passed away. She was only 46. In the yearbook that year, the students placed a picture of her next to the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” Many ancient faith teachings tell us that the source of much of our suffering is trying to “hold on” — to people, feelings, events or conversely control what the future brings. FalI reminds us that we can’t “hold on.” We must let go. And it is ok to let go.

I like to use this time of year to contemplate what I need to let go of. There is never a shortage of items from which to select: expectations, control, worries, beautiful moments.

In my leadership programs and my individual coaching, we focus a lot on mindfulness and staying in the present. When we can stay in the present, we are less likely to grasp onto the past or anticipate the future. We just are.

The trees are great examples. They let go of everything, confident that after a period of dormancy, leaves will return and they’ll be beautiful. What are you letting go of this Fall?