A dried cottonwood leaf is carried by the wind’s currents. It catches the sun as it is blown along, first rising a bit, then dropping along an unseen path. I am surprised by how fast it is moving, how horizontal. Further along it dips below a juniper, preparing, I think, to settle somewhere on the ground, undulating back and forth as the current slows and gravity takes over. I have been thinking about allowing unfolding. This small leaf is a gift. Had I an agenda, an urgency, a desire that it might land elsewhere, I would have missed the unfolding. I would have missed an opportunity to hear whatever wisdom it had to share.
What I bring to each relationship, to each situation or circumstance, is influenced by my own life’s currents, from my somewhat limited version of reality, if such a thing exists. That version is always at the ready to hinder the path of the leaf, create eddies and obstacles that deflect.
I allow unfolding by shifting my gaze, turning away from what is familiar, recognizing that there is a place I want, I want, or a trajectory I think a person, or situation, should follow. An outcome I influence. I am allowing myself to be surprised, to be curious, when I allow for unfolding. I don’t know where you, where we, will end up when I allow, but it is always closer to what we might understand as truth.
The words I felt so pressed to utter a moment ago are no longer relevant (maybe never were). I chose to allow the unfolding. Had I spoken those words out of place, perhaps at all, I would have been in motion, creating unseen currents that would have diverted the leaf from its path to wherever it might have settled.
The space necessary for allowing contracts so quickly, so easily. And so I watch for the smallest thing, the slightest pang, that wayward thought, that pulls me out of allowing unfolding, that shifts my center away from being with.
Allowing unfolding sounds like a passive act. It is not. It requires us to notice, to be aware of the space we cultivate when we allow, when we temporarily halt the instructions about how things should be, when we notice the press to do this or that, to be this or that way, perhaps to defend against perceived harm.
The leaf. The joy of simply following it, noticing without imposing, creating the space through wonderment, allowing it to arrive.