Pomegranate TreeThe seasons have changed, yet again, winter has passed and summer is around the corner. The weather is unstable, as if resisting change, hesitant to move on to summer. Spring is referred to in the dictionary as to “issue forth suddenly, as water…” and “to come into being by growth, as from a seed…” I never fully gave thought to the concept of Spring, until recently. Not long ago we moved away from the hustle and bustle of city life and for the first time have a garden of our own. In our garden we planted trees and plants and together with our children watched them grow as the seasons changed. Winter arrived and we found ourselves worried about the different plants, but watched them hold strong to the winds and survive the frost, except for one particular tree. Our pomegranate tree didn’t do as well as the others. The tree lost its leaves, bent over, and looked as if it wouldn’t survive the especially cold weather this year. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much we could do to control the weather, so we waited…

A couple weeks ago I walked by our living room window and looked, once again, at our tree and stared in awe as I realized it had sprung to life overnight. The bare branches had turned green from top to bottom. It was stunning. It had “issued forth suddenly” and as the days turned into weeks our tree had “come into being by growth.” New branches grew, the sprouts turned into big green and red leaves, and flowers had come forth. The bare, cold, and tired tree turned into the beauty of our garden and we know that it won’t be long until it will bear fruit.

As my husband and I watched the tree come to life overnight, our gaze turned from our tree to our children. Each one of our five children have been through different phases of ‘winter’ in their lives. Periods of time when we wondered how they would manage. Periods of time when we weren’t sure WE would survive the changing of the seasons in their lives. As much as we want to control the different aspects of their lives and ours, there is much we have no control over. All we can do is love them and support them the best we can, provide warmth and safety, a place to rest and wait. And then growth happens, sometimes as if overnight. The ever persistent “NO” turns into “Okay Mommy, if you say so.” The resistance to homework turns into new ideas and excitement over learning something new. Worrying about others and wanting to help out takes the place of indifference and egocentrism. And so the list goes on. Caring, motivation, cooperation, excitement, resilience, hope. All are fruit that come forth as a process of growth. Our children “come into being by growth” and many times this growth springs forward after being dormant for long winter-like months.

It is normal to worry, we do so because we care. But we can have faith in nature and in the natural processes of growth. Even in the darkest of winters, we can remind ourselves that seasons change and after every winter comes spring. When spring finally arrives we’re reminded yet again how miraculous growth really is.

© 2019 The Neufeld Institute
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