@occidens pointed out to me a while ago whilst walking through a wood that if a branch of a tree breaks during the summer when the leaves are fully out and green, the leaves do not fall but wither on the branch and stay there. When it comes to autumn and all the other deciduous leaves change colour and fall, these dried up dead leaves stay on the dead branch.

What this says to me is that when trees lose their leaves in the autumn it is an active process, not a passive one. It is part of living, and the letting go of the leaves is a living act. The tree clearly has to take steps to prepare – and release the leaves.

It is worth remembering this. when it comes to loss.

It recalls the film Truly Madly Deeply in which the bereaved protagonist has to actively let her husband go – almost drive him away – in order to be freed from the ghost of his presence lingering on like those dried up leaves.

Autumn reminds us that loss can be a beautiful thing. It is part of life and it enables new growth.

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