Deep thoughts, Wisdom

Patience and the Parable of the Pear Tree

the parable of the pear tree and winter solstice

Yesterday was the winter solstice- the shortest day of the year. Here in Wisconsin, it’s kind of a pastime for people to complain about the short days in December. 🙂

My own husband said one evening about a month ago, “Ugh. Here we go…into my least favorite time of the year. I hate driving home from work in the dark.”

I have a hard time relating to this feeling, because I honestly do not mind the short days!!! I have mentioned this before, but I find the dark, winter evenings just so cozy and I truly, truly enjoy them. There is a part of me that actually misses them when the days start getting longer again. Call me crazy!

If you are one who dislikes the winter, dark, cold, etc. though… have a read of this little parable. It’s a great reminder that every season in life has its purpose, and also to just be patient. Don’t rush, don’t judge. 🙂

The Parable of the Pear Tree

A father wanted to teach his four sons a lesson about judgment, so he called them together. He said, “I have a task for you. I want you to each go out in the field, look at the pear tree and tell me its condition.”

First went the eldest. It was winter, cold and dark. The tree was ugly, bent, old and gnarled, and it had no blooms. The boy returned and said, “I doubt the tree will survive the winter. I see no use for it.”

A few months later, the next oldest son went out to see the tree. He returned, saying, “The tree is very beautiful. It has white blooms, but I see no signs of fruit or that it will bear any. I also don’t see any practical use for it.” 

Three months later, the next oldest boy went to see the tree. It was now summer. He came back and said, “The tree seems to be doing well. It is growing and has many leaves. There was some fruit on its branches, but when I tasted it, it was bitter and not good to eat. I don’t think it will serve us.”

Finally, three months later, the youngest son headed out. The tree was full of golden, ripe pears. He tasted one and it was delicious. He rushed back to urge his father to hurry to harvest from the tree, as it was overflowing with perfect fruit. 

Then the father called his four sons together again. He said, “You each observed the condition of the tree at a particular season of the year, but your judgment was only partial, and based only on what you saw on the one, single occasion. Never judge yourself or other humans this way, for it is unfair and unwise. All things should be evaluated over the course of time and with repeated, careful inspection. You never know when something ugly or seemingly useless will someday turn into the most beautiful and fruitful. Be patient and understand that each season has its own purpose.”

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.”

-John Burroughs

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for contact solution that soothed my dry eyes this morning. Not at all related to this post :), but I woke up with super dry eyes and it just felt so good when I flushed them out.

4 thoughts on “Patience and the Parable of the Pear Tree”

  1. Love that parable!! So true!

    I am like your husband and struggle with the short days and coming and going to work in the dark. But it bothered me less this year when I wasn’t commuting. I like winter solstice because it marks the end of the shortening of days! I look forward to more and more hours of daylight!


  2. Love this story! I love all seasons -and this year, I am particularly grateful for the warm, closed-in feeling of winter. I may feel differently in February, but for now, this is good. Hibernation in the winter in WI works. 🙂


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