by Jo Hatcher
Right now we are letting go of the last days of summer. As the sunflowers’ leaves set about turning brown, you can see how they bend their heavy heads down towards the ground. They’re tired, worn out. They seem as if they’re giving in, surrendering to their imminent deaths.
I wonder what it’s like to be a sunflower. One minute a sunflower is looking up, up to the sun, reaching, wanting more of the glorious sunshine, stretching. They make the world happy with their cheery faces… no matter what size, they’re just simply cheerful. They make us smile.
And then eventually as the summer wears on, it’s time to let go. Time to give up standing tall and reaching, growing so much, wanting the sun. And I wonder if it’s easy or hard for the sunflowers to allow the weight of their big heads to release and to let the stalks take over.
I’m thinking we could learn something from the sunflowers about letting go. Of having to always be striving, wanting things, whether it is love or safety or a new smart phone, to know what will happen next, to control. We have this crazy need to control.
The words “letting go” have become very real for me. They’re up front and in my face every day because I have a son in Afghanistan. I’m reminded that I cannot do one thing about what happens in his life, whether he’s being shot at or how he handles the violence around him, I cannot protect him, I cannot know, and I can’t do anything except let go of fear.
THE REALITY IS THAT NONE OF US REALLY HAVE CONTROL OVER ANYTHING, WE JUST THINK WE DO.
When you know without question that there is no control to be had, it’s actually easier. You’re free to let go of fear, of worry, of what the future holds. And you get to really embrace the here and now. We know this is what we “should” do…. live in the moment. But how do we actually live our lives? Trying to control things. I do it. You do it. We just play a silly game with ourselves that we have control over things. Of what happens in life.
Sunflowers must know they don’t have control over their withering leaves or their dried stems and once beautiful faces. They surrender. They have no choice except to yield to the inevitable. They don’t seem to control anything.
But what if we all just let go of trying to control our lives and just lived? What would change?
I know for me, when I let go of fear, I become grateful. Grateful of what I have in my life. Grateful for the things that are right here in my life now, like the simple act of walking into my backyard and seeing sunflowers dying and living. And being thankful beyond anything else that my son will be returning next month. There is sweet freedom in relinquishing control.
It’s simple. Just do it.
Of things that don’t give you joy anymore. Of worry. Fear. Let go of the things that don’t matter. Let go of scarcity thinking, of how messed up the world actually seems right now. And live NOW.
We love sunflowers. They are our teachers. And it’s time for them to depart and release their seeds into the ground to continue the stream of life, reminding us of the art of letting go and enjoying every second of the journey.