Walking in the woods after another snow flurry we came upon this unexpected pile of freshly sawn wood. This area until now had been home to a woodland adventure playground, with wooden walkways arching through the treetops connecting tree houses, wooden forts and flying foxes. I hadn’t visited for years, since my son was little, but had fond memories of the fun we had here, high up among the trees. Now it was empty, apart from this wood pile, and a wave of sadness washed through me, for all the fallen trees.
Then I looked a little closer, as I noticed how even and straight the trunks of these trees were. These weren’t the fallen bodies of the old adventure trees, these were old telegraph poles, lying expectantly, waiting for a new life. My emotions swiftly changed to curiosity and excitement, wondering what they were going to build here in place of the old playground.
This drew me closer to the wood, and I was struck by the beautiful array of colours on display. Yet another wave of new emotions flowed, as I gazed in wonder at the beauty of life, contained in a pile of old wood.
Thinking back over all this I’m struck by how fleeting the emotional waves were. Yet often I can feel at the mercy of strong and powerful emotions which feel as though they might overwhelm me. This is such a good reminder that in fact if we just wait and breathe, most emotions will flow through us and on. Emotions don’t need to take root within us, if we can allow them, they will flow through and the next wave will surely follow. The next wave might be something very different to what is being felt now. The next wave might be something really pleasant or fun, if we will allow it space to show itself.
If we won’t allow things to pass, we will have no space for anything new, and this applies just as much to our emotions as it does to our physical worlds. Instead of mourning for what we are losing or letting go of, perhaps we can find some curiosity or excitement about what might come to fill the spaces being left.
I read a Chinese proverb once, which I now can’t find, but the gist of it was…..you can allow and even welcome all your emotions, but you don’t need to invite them to build nests in your hair. I think this is another good reminder to let feelings flow.