Original Author Unknown
This Adaptation By Erin Gjertsen
The Pear Tree
Once upon a time, there lived a philosopher who had four sons. The man taught his children many things in the ways of stories and parables. However, the man also knew that some things can only be learned through experience. When the time was right, he sent each of his sons on a task to a distant land. He asked each of them to visit a particular pear tree he knew of while they were on their journey and report back to him.
The first son, he sent in winter and the second in spring. The third son, he sent in summer and the fourth, he sent in fall.
When all of his sons had returned, he called them together for a feast to celebrate their journeys.
The First Son
The man asked the first son of his journey. "Tell me, my son. While you were on your journey, did you visit the pear tree I spoke of?"
"Oh, yes, father.", said the first son. "I saw the pear tree. It was barren and twisted and very ugly. It looked to be dead."
The man said to his first son, "You have done well, my son. I am pleased."
The Second Son
Then, the man asked the second son of his journey. Had he also seen the tree?
"Oh, yes, father. I saw the pear tree, but it was not dead. It was covered in buds and was full of promise."
The man said to his second son, "You have done well, my son. I am pleased."
The Third Son
Then, the man asked the third son of his journey.
"Oh, yes, father. I saw the tree, but it was neither dead, nor full of promise. The pear tree I visited was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing I have ever laid eyes upon."
The man said to his third son, "You have done well, my son. I am pleased."
The Fourth Son
Then, the man asked the fourth son of his journey.
"Oh, yes, father. I saw the tree, but my brothers cannot have looked upon the very same pear tree. The pear tree I saw was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment."
The man said to his fourth son, "You have done well, my son. I am pleased."
The philosopher then explained to his sons that they were all correct... However, they had only seen one season in the life of that pear tree.
"My sons, you cannot judge a tree, nor a person, by only one season of life. The truth and the essence of who they truly are; The pleasure, joy and love that come from life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up in winter, you will never see the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfillment of your fall."
Do not let a harsh season spoil your joy of all the others. Do not give up when times seem difficult... Good times and prosperity are just around the corner.
How often do we let one brief experience, however terrible or traumatic, keep us from experiencing the joy and fulfillment that we would wish for ourselves?
Someone once said, "whatever does not kill you makes you stronger". A harsh winter may just have been part of your journey. Experience is not what happens to us, but what we decide that experience means.
The rest of your journey, through the spring, summer and fall, is all a choice that only you can make. You can make a new start. You can change in any moment. You can choose to be happy, now, regardless of your past. It is all up to you.
This page was last modified: July 31, 2019 01:49pm UTC