When you ask for an apple, life often gives you a handful of seeds. And when this happens, you may first turn away in disappointment and frustration, wondering why your dreams and intentions came to so little.
But stop and look again. Some of them, after all, may be apple seeds. And if you plant them in rich soil and then water them daily, guard them against the frost in winter and the drought in summer, protect them from animals and clear away the weeds, then you will finally have an orchard, flourishing and growing over the years.
And as your orchard grows, you will learn. You will learn what it takes for trees to be healthy. And you will learn, importantly, about discipline, about the great rewards of activities steadily applied over years, even for just a few minutes a day.
And one day, the orchard will bear fruit. And if you are very smart, you will continue to plant new seeds even as these are bearing fruit, so that you will have a lively, thriving orchard for your lifetime.
And you may also begin to have different types of trees that bear fruit in different seasons. Some trees with broad leaves that shelter you in the summer from the heat and some trees that stay evergreen during the winter months, just for beauty.
And all of this is true for your relationships, your business ventures and careers, your artistic talents. All of these require that you begin with the seedlings and nurture them carefully until they mature and can begin to stand alone, until finally they begin to provide for you.
The new person you just met is a seed you might nurture into a long and deep friendship over the years. The daily time spent practicing the piano is like watering a growing sapling that will eventually reward you with golden peaches. Steady investment of your savings can build many orchards indeed, as can patient and attentive tending to your career or business ventures.
Do not turn away from the seeds. Allow them to teach you, allow them to grow. Allow them to surprise you, as some of them turn out to be pears and others limes and lemons. Devote yourself to life. Devote yourself to nurturing and helping life grow and flourish around you. Let your dreams nurture the wonders that have been given you, not lead you away in frustration and disappointment.
Allow yourself to dedicate your time and effort even though the outcome is not certain, knowing that each drop of sweat that falls to the ground is precious, for this is life, this effort, this meeting of the challenge. This is the way we spend our days.
Here is a little prayer for today
I look at the handful of seeds that lie in the palm of my hand, and I see within them the trees they are to become, the fruit they will bear, the shade and shelter they will provide.
I nurture and develop the seeds of my life, not only for what they will become but and also for the love of life now, the glory of being alive, reaching and becoming, growing and expanding.
I love life. I love my life. And I embrace it in all its wonder, from seed to tree, to fallen fruit that again contains more seeds.
I am vibrant and alive. I am peace and love. I am.