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 myself shared a thought this morning. There he is was waiting on a gravestone with a chestnut in his mouth. Catching his eye I stopped to say hello. Standing just a few feet apart, telepathically our exchange lasted a number of seconds.

As I returned to my jog questions arose.

“How does he get the chestnut out of its casing?”

“Does he have to open the prickly outer shell?’

As if in response, I was suddenly aware of all the 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 open 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. Draining vitality, the tree suffers. As well, sacrifices 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. Of growing their own roots.

What happens when we hang onto hurt, disappointment, the past? When we refuse to release, move on, we also miss out on giving light to loss. Change, understanding and new life are all held at bay.

Everything has its time.

In order for the potentiality of new life in whatever form, ideas, change, growth, beginnings life insists we let go. Not hang onto to the past. For it goes against the nature of personal growth. For it is only through letting go do we open to the seed of greater understanding and new life taking form.

Think about it. How ridiculous of a grand ole’ chestnut tree saying “No. I am keeping what I have no matter how uncomfortable I become.” 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 he will always have enough.