Rumi's Circle

a community of lovers

Fall From Green by Latifa Nur

A receptive heart has much to learn from the wisdom of nature. A student of Rumi’s teachings speaks of her healing friendship with trees and the inspiration for her debut song.

Daliah Jaan

This song gently arrived in the autumn, while I was sitting on a bench in an empty churchyard in Angel, London. I was gazing up at the mystically beautiful and towering trees before my eyes. For several weeks, I’d been working through some deep childhood wounds related to a dearth of fatherly love, which was at that time being triggered and mirrored in my life. As I sat there alone gazing up at the trees, I felt their friendship very deeply. I sensed they were witnessing and affirming my experience and pain, and inviting me to let go of that which I was clinging to. A leaf carried in the breeze landed on my foot.

There was something so magical about the seemingly opposing movements unfolding before my eyes — the trees reaching up as though to touch the sky and, at the same moment, their yellowing leaves falling to the ground. I was mesmerised by the descent that needs to happen in order for the ascension toward heaven to continue a little every year. It reminded me of how one of my beloved Mevlevi sufi teachers, Shaikha Camille Helminski, frequently reminds us dervishes that we move toward our complete humanness, toward wholeness, “little by little”.

We must lovingly witness the conditioned beliefs we accumulated from our families, culture, mainstream religion, patriarchy, etc., that forced us into the cages from a young age. By doing this with deep presence and worship, slowly and surely like the trees, we let these beliefs go and ascend toward the heavens contained within our hearts.

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, my Sufi master, writes so prolifically about this process of journeying through the pain of our separation from our Essence. It is only by turning into the grief, held in the embrace of our Sustainer, that we reach the light of Truth and taste what it feels like to be showered with Mercy. This has been my experience as a Mevlevi dervish; it is only when I really sink into the pain of trauma and psychological wounding and allow it to flow through my body that I find the treasures lying beneath the rubble. On that day, I saw the Truth in the trees laying bear their branches to the cold and harsh realities of winter, ready to patiently endure and wait for the mercy of spring.

For a time while sitting there in the churchyard, it felt as though my skin dissolved and I was at one with the shifting of the seasons happening in the nature surrounding me. The burden I was holding — the compilation of beliefs of not being enough, not being lovable, not being worthy of attention — gently loosened its grip and fell to the ground like the leaves scattered all around me. And the lyrics of Fall From Green, starting with the chorus and melody, began to reveal themselves.

Fall From Green

The wind is blowing with an autumn chill
I can feel it in my skin
It’s time to let go of what might have been
And sway with the shifting seasons

A leaf of brown with a yellow trim
Lands upon my feet
Then fades beneath the footprints
Those branches above await frost eagerly
They know the pain contains the remedy

See how the trees reach slowly for the heavens
Only by letting their leaves
Fade into yellow and
Fall from green

There’s inspiration in those leaves
Slowly losing their colour
Like beliefs that no longer
Make sense to me

The trees see no reason to cling
They’re certain of what’s coming with spring
Once winter strips every twig clean
It’s a guarantee
When hearts are open there will always be green

See how the trees reach slowly for the heavens
Only by letting their leaves
Fade into yellow and
Fall from green

If I sit here long enough, will I see
That I’m no different from the tree
The wind may blow away those colours
Expose our barren limbs to winter’s honesty

But the rains of spring will paint them
a little more beautifully
Yes the rains of spring will paint them
a little more beautifully

See how the trees reach slowly for the heavens
Only by letting their leaves
Fade into yellow and
Fall from green

~Latifa Nur, Oct. 6, 2019, after weeks of shedding


Daliah Latifa Nur is an editor, writer and poet based in London. She also blogs on Sufism for The Living Tradition.

Listen to her healing sound here. Like, comment & follow to hear her future sounds.

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