Raking a pile of the leaves as they keep falling, bringing some kind of order to them, is an endless task if you are a perfectionist. They can’t all be gathered, because they keep right on falling, and they won’t make neat piles. Burning leaf therapy…
Autumn has come and when I’m sitting at the computer or rushing around or driving from work to the shop feeling overwhelmed with demands, I find myself wanting to step into the garden and burn leaves. They are the same leaves that were green not so long ago, that created shady canopies, and sounds in the wind, the same leaves I was quite certain that I couldn’t do without.
There they go, crumpled, yellow, orange and brown, in great gusts against the sunshine. When I walk to the washing line I now crunch. There are only two ways to go: pretend this isn’t happening, or start to enjoy it.
And of course there are plenty of other things in my life that are changing and finishing and crumpling up and falling on the floor. The wind is getting up, the sun is still shining. There’s a kind of order, like the season’s change, and at the same time I am quite certain that it’s unbearable.
Raking a pile of the leaves as they keep falling, bringing some kind of order to them, is an endless task if you are a perfectionist. They can’t all be gathered, because they keep right on falling, and they won’t make neat piles. But they do make big, unruly piles, and then they catch fire, flaring up in a split second like fireworks, a billow of smoke underneath, making you catch your breath. Then the wind comes and sends little scraps of burning leaf on erratic dances across the garden. And then the huge pile has disappeared, and it seems as if something has been released.
Sometimes I think that if therapy is about deep listening, understanding, and change, then there are as many types of therapy as there are people and activities. Burning leaf therapy gets it all falling into place for me, for a while.
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