Personal Spiritual Transformation and Development
St Stephens Practice, 21a St Stephens Road
Norwich Norfolk NR1 3SP
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The Lesson of the Chestnut Tree

A squirrel and I shared a thought this morning. Waiting on a gravestone with a chestnut in its’ mouth, I caught his eye and stopped to say hello. Standing just a few feet apart, we exchanged pleasantries which lasted several seconds.

As I returned to my jog, questions arose.

How did he get that chestnut out of its casing?

Did he have to open the prickly outer shell?

As if in response, my attention was drawn to the many fallen chestnuts on my path. While I noticed some open and empty, others remained closed, holding tight to their prize. But then I found my answer as my eye was drawn to a beautifully displayed husk cradling a chestnut in waiting. 

Of course. The tree lets go, the chestnut opens. The squirrel does the planting and, a new life grows. 

But imagine if the tree hung on refusing to let go? Going against Nature takes a lot of energy. As vitality drains, the tree suffers while sacrificing its seed. The potential for new growth. So, how does this relate to us?

What is the lesson of the Chestnut tree?

What happens when a parent will not let go? Holding tight, the young adult misses out on the seed of its own life. Never exposed to the light of potentiality hinders the journey of possibility. The growing of their roots.

What happens when we hang onto hurt, disappointment, the past? When we refuse to release, move on, we also miss out. Keeping pain alive robs well-being. Unable to heal and forgive, we end up stuck in time. Change, understanding, and new life are all held at bay.

Everything has its time.

For the potentiality of new life in whatever form, ideas, change, growth, beginnings, life insists we don’t stem the flow of change. Not hang onto the past and go against the very essence of personal growth. Only through letting go do we open to the seed of greater understanding, new life taking form.

Think about it. How ridiculous if the grand old chestnut tree just held tight. Refusing to drop its’ chestnuts no matter how uncomfortable while sacrificing future growth. Just as the tree trusts in the timing of Nature, innately, we also know when it is time to let go. As for the Squirrel? His reward lies in the knowledge that by planting many acorns, he will always have enough.