Two trees grew strong and proud side by side in the same field. Day and night they were exposed to the same elements and their roots grew to the same depth. Each season visited the trees at the same time and they experienced them in the same manner.
Wintertime covered their branches in a blanket of snow that gave them an ethereal glow when the sun reflected from the millions of tiny snowflakes.
The furiousness of spring rains and winds battered the two trees causing them to sway in tandem, bending at the will of the storms but never breaking, then finally they would burst forth with white flowers so heavy their branches struggled to stay upright.
Summer heat slowly traded the flowers for leaves of green and an abundance of fruit. Birds sang their nightingale songs from their branches while fireflies danced a midsummers night dance in the field around them.
Summer shifted to fall and as the two trees began to feel the chill of the air and the scent of autumn they knew that the new season would soon be there, one that would turn their leaves to the most glorious of colors giving pause to all who had the pleasure to gaze upon their beauty.
For this season the trees lived. For this season, they endured the bare branches of winter, the winds and rain of spring and the heat of summer. And while each season was welcome, autumn was their favorite for that was when they would be crowned with stunning hues of gold, ruby and amber.
As the weather grew cooler and the days grew shorter, the trees would wait with baited breath for the moonlight to fade to the soft glowing colors of dawn to see if their leaves had began to show the change of the season.
One early morning as the dark faded one tree saw that its counterpart had begun to glimmer with slightest hint of autumn colors. Sure that its leaves had too been dipped in the change of the season, the tree was disheartened when it realized that it still maintained the deep emerald color of late summer. Disappointment met each new day, as side by side, the two trees grew further and further apart in the season.
On a cold crisp morning the emerald tree, still as green as it was in August, shook its branches at the Creator. “How could you do this to me? Can’t you see we are in a season of autumn when the world is awash with the majesty of your paintbrush? Can’t you see that I am not like the other tree? Don’t you realize that my green leaves have held on and that I am not experiencing this time like the tree next to me? We have shifted and changed together, and yet this season, you have withheld from me the glory that is mine.” There was no response to the tree’s angry inquiry, but it did not stop it from asking the same question each new day.
Slowly the chill in the air became more pronounced, the ground hardened with crystal dew, which was, replace by a blanket of snow. The emerald tree did not feel the cold for its leaves had just begun to change colors, it did not feel the flakes of snow settle upon its bare branches because it was sheltered by its leaves of ruby, gold and amber. As the two trees stood in the middle of a field covered in white, one bare and cold enduring a winter that was harsh and ugly, the other stood, at last, crowned in breathtakingly glorious colors.
The tree, not knowing what the season ahead would hold, was quick to judge the Creator and accuse Him of being cruel because the autumn season was different than the tree it stood next too. But, the Creator in all His love, knew that if the tree’s leaves turned too soon and dropped to quickly, the harsh winter would cause it wither and not bare fruit in the spring. The tree realized this and never again did it compare the way it experienced each season. After all, it was the created not the Creator.
Gena’s PS: I passed those two trees everyday for three months as the season changed from summer to the fall. One morning the contrast was so vivid that I stopped the car and walked through the wet muddy field to capture the image. It is one that I have referenced often because there are times when my season has been so drastically different than those around me but I have come to realize that while I may question the season I am in, my Creator holds my future and my different seasons and experiences are unique to what my needs are or will be. I want to encourage to embrace the season you are in to not compare it to those around you.