This morning, in the middle of my run, I did my slow, meditative walk around the duck pond once again. About ten feet from where I walked, a tree let go of a large dead branch, and the branch came crashing to the ground. It startled me. I walked over the tree and stood there gazing up at it, wondering why it had chosen that particular moment on a non-windy day to let go of its dead branch.

And then I realized, whether the tree picked that timing for my benefit or not, there was a lesson in it that I needed to pay attention to.

“Let go of your own dead branch,” the tree whispered to me. “It is not serving you anymore. Let it go, and let it rot into the ground so that it can one day serve as compost for new things to grow.”

“Let it go so that you can stand tall, no longer bent under the weight of that deadness. Let go of the responsibility for carrying something that can no longer absorb light, no longer grow leaves, and no longer transform carbon dioxide into oxygen for others to breathe.”

Sometimes letting go of a dead branch is the very best thing you can do to usher in new life.