There are many lessons taught in Jewish tradition gleaned from the comparison of humans to trees.
The seasons of the tree remind us to see the whole picture of life: appreciate each stage, have patience, and maximize our potential.
A man sent his four sons on a quest to look at a pear tree far away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was brown, bent, and twisted. The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed. He said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, and it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
Of, course, all his sons were right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.
We cannot pass judgement by experiencing only one season.
Who we are – our abilities, achievements, joy, love, and serenity- is constantly changing throughout our lives. Do not give up: appreciate and maximize each stage and have the perseverance, patience, and maturity to know that there are other seasons to come.
Do not give up too soon when it is winter; you will miss the promise of the spring, the beauty of the summer, and fulfillment of the fall.