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“I realise there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.” –Jeffrey McDaniel

The trees are bare. The warm autumn blaze has passed. The landscape is cold and barren. Now it is up to us to make it warm with sparkling Christmas lights, red ribbons, Santa Claus & reindeer. Watching Christmas decorations go up is one of my favourite things. When I pass through the little towns and see the holiday lights going up my heart fills with joy.

Like the trees outside, I — too — am working on letting things go. I’ve had a heavy heart for so long, and now, as I look back on the last few years, I accept that it’s been more than just a passing phase. There’s been a consistent sadness, a continual loss of myself. If I’m very honest, it began shortly after I got married. I lost pieces of myself in becoming a wife. It waxed and waned. Then I became a mother. I lost pieces of myself in becoming a mother.

It hurts to say these things. It hurts to think these things, even. But what I realize is that I have a lot of soul work to do. It’s funny (depressing?) because I came to this conclusion a year ago, yet so little has changed. My New Year resolution was to focus on me. But, you know how these things go. Life got in the way.

Even still, I know that things are exactly as they are meant to be. If I am here now, I am meant to be here now. There are seasons of life — and this season (this three-year season) has been one of selflessness. Yes, I lost (lose) pieces of myself in being a wife and a mother — but for me — that’s what being a wife and a mother means. In the spring, when our new baby joins our little family, I will lose more of myself. This sacrifice is beyond worth it as I’ve already learned. Love is the hardest kind of work; but it is also life’s sweetest gift.

I am working on coming to a place of acceptance of what is, while remembering also what could be. It’s my habit to become deeply engrossed in whatever is in front of me — so much so that I often cannot “see the forest through the trees.”

Like the trees outside, I — too — am working on letting things go. Recently I saw a beautiful photograph of a mother practicing yoga. Below the image she wrote, “Take care of yourself so that you may take care of others.” It touched me deeply. This post is my long and winding way of getting to that sentiment, I suppose.

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The photographs in this post were taken on Sunday afternoon. We had a couple of unseasonably warm days and it was a joy to be outside without having to bundle up in our big winter coats. That handsome boy on the swing set is my nephew, Brian Lee. It’s mind-blowing how big & handsome he has already grown to be. My goodness, how the years fly by.

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