I am not aware of the author of this story, but I believe it has relevance to those who have lost a loved one, there are many seasons to our grief…
There was an Indian Chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in winter, the second in the spring, and the third in summer, and the youngest in 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 ugly, 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, 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.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.
He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of which they 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 when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.
The Moral of the story:
Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come at some time.
Live, love and care deeply.
Leave the rest to God.
May those of you who find yourselves in a wintry season of darkness and loss remember this story; holding on to the hope that despite your pain it will pass into another season of better days, budding with possibilities and ripe with wholeness and healing.