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The big tree

Outside my kitchen window stands a magnificent ash tree. Every year around October its leaves start to fall. At the end of the summer, when some trees are starting to show the first signs that autumn is approaching, the ash tree is still unchanged. It might be that an occasional summer storm makes it lose some leaves and branches, but apart from that it holds up pretty well, even in September.

Every year I observe it, looking for signs that autumn has finally defeated it. I know it’s coming, I know it’s going to lose its leaves, but there’s so much resistance inside me to leaving the summer behind that every autumn I miss the first signs. And every autumn I’m surprised when over a period of ten days nearly all the leaves drop off.

It’s difficult to see change coming when you don’t want to embrace it. Some people can see events that many of us don’t notice because they don’t fear them. Holding on to things not only prevents you making good decisions about the present, it also impedes your view of the future in front of you. In challenging times, narratives of change are as necessary as narratives of hope.



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